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Therapeutic and diagnostic applications of exosomal circRNAs in breast cancer

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journal contribution
submitted on 2024-01-11, 10:35 and posted on 2024-01-15, 10:23 authored by Mohanraj Gopikrishnan, Hephzibah Cathryn R, Gnanasambandan R, Hossam M. Ashour, Gianfranco Pintus, Mohamed Hammad, Manoj Kumar Kashyap, George Priya Doss C, Hatem Zayed

Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are regulatory elements that are involved in orchestrating gene expression and protein functions and are implicated in various biological processes including cancer. Notably, breast cancer has a significant mortality rate and is one of the most common malignancies in women. CircRNAs have been demonstrated to contribute to the pathogenesis of breast cancer including its initiation, progression, metastasis, and resistance to drugs. By acting as miRNA sponges, circRNAs can indirectly influence gene expression by disrupting miRNA regulation of their target genes, ultimately altering the course of cancer development and progression. Additionally, circRNAs can interact with proteins and modulate their functions including signaling pathways involved in the initiation and development of cancer. Recently, circRNAs can encode peptides that play a role in the pathophysiology of breast cancer and other diseases and their potential as diagnostic biomarkers and therapeutic targets for various cancers including breast cancer. CircRNAs possess biomarkers that differentiate, such as stability, specificity, and sensitivity, and can be detected in several biological specimens such as blood, saliva, and urine. Moreover, circRNAs play an important role in various cellular processes including cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis, all of which are integral factors in the development and progression of cancer. This review synthesizes the functions of circRNAs in breast cancer, scrutinizing their contributions to the onset and evolution of the disease through their interactions with exosomes and cancer-related intracellular pathways. It also delves into the potential use of circRNA as a biomarker and therapeutic target against breast cancer. It discusses various databases and online tools that offer crucial circRNA information and regulatory networks. Lastly, the challenges and prospects of utilizing circRNAs in clinical settings associated with breast cancer are explored.

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Published in: Functional & Integrative Genomics
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Open Access funding provided by the Qatar National Library.



  • English


Springer Nature

Publication Year

  • 2023

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This Item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Institution affiliated with

  • Qatar University
  • Qatar University Health - QU
  • College of Health Sciences - QU HEALTH

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