Copyright ©The Author(s) 2022. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Gastrointest Oncol. Apr 15, 2022; 14(4): 748-764
Published online Apr 15, 2022. doi: 10.4251/wjgo.v14.i4.748
Regulatory RNAs, microRNA, long-non coding RNA and circular RNA roles in colorectal cancer stem cells
Hsiao-Mei Chao, Teh-Wei Wang, Edward Chern, Shan-hui Hsu
Hsiao-Mei Chao, Department of Pathology, Wan Fang Hospital, Taipei Medical University, Taipei 11696, Taiwan
Hsiao-Mei Chao, Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, College of Medicine, Taipei Medical University, Taipei 110, Taiwan
Teh-Wei Wang, Edward Chern, niChe Lab for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, Department of Biochemical Science and Technology, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10617, Taiwan
Shan-hui Hsu, Institute of Polymer Science and Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10617, Taiwan
Author contributions: Chao HM, Wang TW, Chern E and Hsu Sh reviewed the papers and wrote the manuscript; and all authors have read and approve the final manuscript.
Conflict-of-interest statement: Authors declare no conflict of interests for this article.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article that was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Corresponding author: Shan-hui Hsu, PhD, Professor, Institute of Polymer Science and Engineering, National Taiwan University, No. 1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Rd., Taipei 10617, Taiwan.
Received: February 22, 2021
Peer-review started: February 22, 2021
First decision: July 29, 2021
Revised: August 18, 2021
Accepted: March 25, 2022
Article in press: March 25, 2022
Published online: April 15, 2022

The properties of cancer stem cells (CSCs), such as self-renewal, drug resistance, and metastasis, have been indicated to be responsible for the poor prognosis of patients with colon cancers. The epigenetic regulatory network plays a crucial role in CSC properties. Regulatory non-coding RNA (ncRNA), including microRNAs, long noncoding RNAs, and circular RNAs, have an important influence on cell physiopathology. They modulate cells by regulating gene expression in different ways. This review discusses the basic characteristics and the physiological functions of colorectal cancer (CRC) stem cells. Elucidation of these ncRNAs will help us understand the pathological mechanism of CRC progression, and they could become a new target for cancer treatment.

Keywords: Regulatory RNAs, MicroRNA, Long-non coding RNA, Circular RNA, Colorectal cancer, Cancer stem cell, Stemness

Core Tip: Cancer stemness is one of the key reasons to contribute to the tumor aggressiveness, disease progression and cancer recurrence. Some reports have suggested the essential roles of regulatory RNAs in the modulation of the colorectal cancer (CRC) stemness. Here, we focus on the findings of microRNAs, long noncoding RNAs, and circular RNAs in CRC stem cells. We not only introduce the basic concepts of these non-coding RNA but address their pathologic roles in the stemness related signals and molecules to realize their functions in CRC stem cells and CRC progression.