BMB Reports 2018; 51(11): 563-571
Downregulated microRNAs in the colorectal cancer: diagnostic and therapeutic perspectives
Rosa Hernández1,2,3, Ester Sánchez-Jiménez4, Consolación Melguizo1,2,3, Jose Prados1,2,3,* & Ana Rosa Rama1,5
1Institute of Biopathology and Regenerative Medicine (IBIMER), Center of Biomedical Research (CIBM), University of Granada, Granada 18100, 2Biosanitary Institute of Granada (ibs. GRANADA), SAS-Universidad de Granada, Granada 18100, 3Department of Human Anatomy and Embryology, School of Medicine, University of Granada, Granada 18100, 4Proteomics Laboratory CSIC/UAB, Institute of Biomedical Research, Barcelona 08036, 5Department of Health Science, University of Jaén, Jaén 23071, Spain
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Received: May 24, 2018; Revised: June 12, 2018; Accepted: July 10, 2018; Published online: November 30, 2018.
© Korean Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. All rights reserved.

cc This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Colorectal cancer (CRC), the third most common cancer in the world, has no specific biomarkers that facilitate its diagnosis and subsequent treatment. The miRNAs, small single-stranded RNAs that repress the mRNA translation and trigger the mRNA degradation, show aberrant levels in the CRC, by which these molecules have been related with the initiation, progression, and drug-resistance of this cancer type. Numerous studies show the microRNAs influence the cellular mechanisms related to the cell cycle, differentiation, apoptosis, and migration of the cancer cells through the post-transcriptionally regulated gene expression. Specific patterns of the upregulated and down-regulated miRNA have been associated with the CRC diagnosis, prognosis, and therapeutic response. Concretely, the downregulated miRNAs represent attractive candidates, not only for the CRC diagnosis, but for the targeted therapies via the tumor-suppressing microRNA replacement. This review shows a general overview of the potential uses of the miRNAs in the CRC diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment with a special focus on the downregulated ones.
Keywords: Biomarkers, Colorectal cancer, Diagnosis, miRNA, Therapeutic target
Fig. 1. miRNAs: characteristics and biogenesis. The miRNAs are transcribed by the polymerase II into the primary transcripts (pri-miRNAs) that are cleaved by the Drosha. This processing drives the formation of the hairpin precursor (pre-miRNAs). Exportin 5 transports the pre-miRNAs to the cytoplasm, where the Dicer processes them into the miRNA duplexes. One strand of the duplex (mature miRNA) is incorporated into the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC), and it binds to the 3’-UTR of the target mRNA, resulting in its degradation or translational repression.

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