Long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in colorectal cancer: a systematic review

Colorectal Cancer

Cancer Biol Ther. 2020 Jul 30:1-13. doi: 10.1080/15384047.2020.1794239. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a leading cause of cancer-related death. Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a major process in tumor metastasis development. This systematic review aims to describe the role of long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) in EMT in CRC.

METHODS: The electronic databases, PubMed, Cochrane, and EMBASE, were searched from January1990 to June 2019 to identify studies examining lncRNA and their role in mediating EMT in CRC. Studies examining clinical specimens and/or in vitro experiments were included.

RESULTS: In 61 identified studies, 54 lncRNAs were increased in CRC compared to normal colorectal epithelium. Increased lncRNA expression was frequently associated with worse survival. Many lncRNAs mediate their effect through competitive endogenous RNA or transcription factor regulation. The ZEB1, 2/E-cadherin, Wnt/β-catenin signaling, and chromatin remodeling pathways are discussed in particular.

CONCLUSIONS: lncRNAs are major regulators of EMT and predictor adverse outcome in CRC patients. Future research must focus on delineating lncRNA function prior to potential clinical use.