Noncoding RNAs in the Interplay between Tumor Cells and Cancer-Associated Fibroblasts: Signals to Catch and Targets to Hit.

Published on Feb 9, 2021in Cancers6.126
· DOI :10.3390/CANCERS13040709
Martina Tassinari (University of Milan), Paolo Gandellini25
Estimated H-index: 25
(University of Milan)
Cancer development and progression are not solely cell-autonomous and genetically driven processes. Dynamic interaction of cancer cells with the surrounding microenvironment, intended as the chemical/physical conditions as well as the mixture of non-neoplastic cells of the tumor niche, drive epigenetic changes that are pivotal for the acquisition of malignant traits. Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAF), namely fibroblasts that, corrupted by cancer cells, acquire a myofibroblast-like reactive phenotype, are able to sustain tumor features by the secretion of soluble paracrine signals and the delivery extracellular vesicles. In such diabolic liaison, a major role has been ascribed to noncoding RNAs. Defined as RNAs that are functional though not being translated into proteins, noncoding RNAs predominantly act as regulators of gene expression at both the transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge of microRNAs and long noncoding RNAs that act intracellularly in either CAFs or cancer cells to sustain tumor-stroma interplay. We also report on the major role of extracellular noncoding RNAs that are bidirectionally transferred between either cell type. Upon presenting a comprehensive view of the existing literature, we provide our critical opinion regarding the possible clinical utility of tumor-stroma related noncoding RNAs as therapeutic target/tools or prognostic/predictive biomarkers.
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