Journal of Shanghai Jiao Tong University (Medical Science) ›› 2023, Vol. 43 ›› Issue (2): 237-243.doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1674-8115.2023.02.014

• Review • Previous Articles    

Crosstalk between epigenetic modification and circRNA in colorectal cancer: recent advances

PENG Tian(), XU Leiming()   

  1. Department of Gastroenterology, Xinhua Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200082, China
  • Received:2022-08-14 Accepted:2023-02-20 Online:2023-02-28 Published:2023-02-28
  • Contact: XU Leiming;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(82172737)


Colorectal cancer (CRC) is generally regarded as the third frequent malignancy worldwide, while current diagnosis and treatment of the disease are limited. The previous studies of CRC revealed that epigenetic modification plays a crucial role in the progression of CRC. Epigenetic modification is identified as heritable changes in gene functions that occur without changing the DNA sequence, resulting in cells with similar DNA eventually developing into different types with different functions, which encompasses DNA/RNA methylation, histone modification, and non-coding RNA regulation. Circular RNA (circRNA), a kind of non-coding RNA that forms a covalently closed loop, is widely present in various cells which drive initiation and progression of cancers through multiple pathways. The emerging data show that epigenetic modification may affect the biological functions of circRNA, while circRNA can also participate in the progression of CRC by targeting molecules related to epigenetic modification. N6-methyladenosine (m6A) has been found to directly promote production, translation, and functions of circRNA on the one hand, and interact with circRNA on the other hand, thereby altering onset, progression, and metastasis of the disease. DNA methylation and histone modification have also been observed to have potential interaction with circRNA. This review provides a brief overview about the association between current epigenetic modifications and circRNA, and the significant role they may play in the progression of CRC, and also outlines the potential applications to diagnosis and treatment, and the research direction in the future.

Key words: circular RNA (circRNA), colorectal cancer (CRC), N6?methyladenosine (m6A), DNA methylation, histone modification

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