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Non-coding RNAs functioning in colorectal cancer stem cells

  • Autori: Fanale, D.; Barraco, N.; Listi', A.; Bazan, V.; Russo, A.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2016
  • Tipologia: Capitolo o Saggio (Capitolo o saggio)
  • Parole Chiave: Cancer stem cells; Colorectal cancer; Differentiation; Epithelialmesenchymal transition; MicroRNAs; Non-coding RNAs; Self-renewal; Signaling pathways; Stemness; Tumorigenicity; Medicine (all); Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (all)
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In recent years, the hypothesis of the presence of tumor-initiating cancer stem cells (CSCs) has received a considerable support. This model suggested the existence of CSCs which, thanks to their self-renewal properties, are able to drive the expansion and the maintenance of malignant cell populations with invasive and metastatic potential in cancer. Increasing evidence showed the ability of such cells to acquire self-renewal, multipotency, angiogenic potential, immune evasion, symmetrical and asymmetrical divisions which, along with the presence of several DNA repair mechanisms, further enhance their oncogenic potential making them highly resistant to common anticancer treatments. The main signaling pathways involved in the homeostasis of colorectal (CRC) stem cells are the Wnt, Notch, Sonic Hedgehog, and Bone Morfogenic Protein (BMP) pathways, which are mostly responsible for all the features that have been widely referred to stem cells. The same pathways have been identifi ed in colorectal cancer stem cells (CRCSCs), conferring a more aggressive phenotype compared to non-stem CRC cells. Recently, several evidences suggested that non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) may play a crucial role in the regulation of different biological mechanisms in CRC, by modulating the expression of critical stem cell transcription factors that have been found active in CSCs. In this chapter, we will discuss the involvement of ncRNAs, especially microRNAs (miRNAs) and long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), in stemness acquisition and maintenance by CRCSCs, through the regulation of pathways modulating the CSC phenotype and growth, carcinogenesis, differentiation, and epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT).