Clinical Implications of Circulating Circular RNAs in Lung Cancer

Sae Seul Choi, Sae Eun Kim, Seon Young Oh, Young Ho Ahn

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are single-stranded RNAs with a covalently closed-loop structure that increases their stability; thus, they are more advantageous to use as liquid biopsy markers than linear RNAs. circRNAs are thought to be generated by back-splicing of pre-mRNA transcripts, which can be facilitated by reverse complementary sequences in the flanking introns and trans-acting factors, such as splicing regulatory factors and RNA-binding factors. circRNAs function as miRNA sponges, interact with target proteins, regulate the stability and translatability of other mRNAs, regulate gene expression, and produce microproteins. circRNAs are also found in the body fluids of cancer patients, including plasma, saliva, urine, and cerebrospinal fluid, and these “circulating circRNAs” can be used as cancer biomarkers. In lung cancer, some circulating circRNAs have been reported to regulate cancer progression and drug resistance. Circulating circRNAs have significant diagnostic value and are associated with the prognosis of lung cancer patients. Owing to their functional versatility, heightened stability, and practical applicability, circulating circRNAs represent promising biomarkers for lung cancer diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment monitoring.

Original languageEnglish
Article number871
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grants funded by the government of Korea (MSIT) (NRF-2019R1F1A1057968, NRF-2020R1A5A2019210, and NRF-2022R1A2C1003150).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • circular RNAs
  • diagnosis
  • liquid biopsy
  • lung cancer
  • prognosis


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