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Gastroenterology Research and Practice
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 1360348, 6 pages
Review Article

The Structure and Clinical Roles of MicroRNA in Colorectal Cancer

Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Key Laboratory of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Ministry of Health and State Key Laboratory for Oncogenes and Related Genes, Renji Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai Institution of Digestive Disease, 145 Middle Shandong Road, Shanghai 200001, China

Received 18 July 2016; Accepted 11 October 2016

Academic Editor: Nicola Silvestris

Copyright © 2016 Linwensi Zhu and Jingyuan Fang. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most prevalent types of malignancies, particularly among individuals aged between 50 and 75. The global incidence of CRC has been steadily on the rise due in no small part to an aging population and a shift in lifestyle as well as eating habits. MicroRNAs are a group of small, noncoding, and endogenous RNA molecules that have recently emerged as key players in a broad range of pathological pathways. Moreover, dysregulation of microRNAs has been implicated in cancer development and metastasis. This review is intended to provide a brief overview of the structure, functions, and clinical roles of microRNAs. In particular, the review will focus on the discovery, the underlying mechanistic roles, and the diagnostic as well as therapeutic potentials of CRC-specific miRNAs.