Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are a novel familyof non-coding endogenous RNAs discoveredin all eukaryotic cells and generated through aparticular mechanism of alternative splicingcalled “back-splicing”. These molecules showmultiple functions, by acting as modulators ofgene and miRNA expression, and may have arole in several biological processes, such ascell proliferation and invasion with, tumourdevelopment and progression, and in severalmechanisms underlying other diseases. Theirpresence has been shown to be abundant inseveral body fluids such as blood and saliva.Based on their biogenesis mechanism, cir-cRNAs may be categorized into five classes:exonic circRNAs, intronic circRNAs, anti-sense circRNAs, sense overlapping circRNAsand intergenic circRNAs. Recently, the pres-ence of circRNAs, in addition to that of miR-NAs and long non-coding RNAs, has beendetected also in small extracellular vesiclescalled exosomes. Investigating the presenceand expression levels of serum exosomal cir-cRNAs could allow us, in future, to discrimi-nate cancer patients from healthy individuals,identifying new potential exosome-based can-cer biomarkers.In this chapter, we briefly will describe themajor features and functions of exosomal cir-cRNAs, discussing their potential role asmolecular biomarkers for diagnosis, progno-sis and monitoring of complex diseases,including cancer.
|Title of host publication||Circular RNA: Biogenesis and Functions|
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - 2018|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology