Open Access

Exosomal circular RNAs: A new frontier in the metastasis of digestive system tumors (Review)

  • Authors:
    • Baile Shen
    • Keke Sun
  • View Affiliations

  • Published online on: October 12, 2021     https://doi.org/10.3892/ol.2021.13087
  • Article Number: 826
  • Copyright: © Shen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License.

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Abstract

Exosomes are membrane vesicles with a diameter of 30‑150 nm. Exosomes are secreted by various types of tumor cell and contain a variety of proteins, circular RNAs (circRNAs), microRNAs and DNA, depending on the host cells. Among them, circRNAs, which are long non‑coding endogenous RNAs, form covalently closed and continuous loops that link the 3' and 5' terminals generated by back‑splicing. circRNAs have become a hotspot of research. Exosomal circRNAs are in volved in the pathogenesis of cancer, especially metastasis, which is mainly ascribed to the frequently abnormal expression levels within neoplasms. Nonetheless, the functions and regulatory mechanisms of exosomal circRNAs in the progression of digestive system tumors (DSTs) remain unclear. More knowledge on the regulation and network interactions of exosomal circRNAs will help identify superior treatment strategies for the metastasis of DSTs. The present review aims to summarize the existing studies on the functions and mechanisms of exosomal circRNAs in tumorigenesis, and evaluate the associations between the dysregulation of exosomal circRNAs and tumor metastasis.
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