The potential of using blood circular RNA as liquid biopsy biomarker for human diseases

Guoxia Wen, Tong Zhou, Wanjun Gu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Circular RNA (circRNA) is a novel class of single-stranded RNAs with a closed loop structure. The majority of circRNAs are formed by a back-splicing process in pre-mRNA splicing. Their expression is dynamically regulated and shows spatiotemporal patterns among cell types, tissues and developmental stages. CircRNAs have important biological functions in many physiological processes, and their aberrant expression is implicated in many human diseases. Due to their high stability, circRNAs are becoming promising biomarkers in many human diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, autoimmune diseases and human cancers. In this review, we focus on the translational potential of using human blood circRNAs as liquid biopsy biomarkers for human diseases. We highlight their abundant expression, essential biological functions and significant correlations to human diseases in various components of peripheral blood, including whole blood, blood cells and extracellular vesicles. In addition, we summarize the current knowledge of blood circRNA biomarkers for disease diagnosis or prognosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)911-946
Number of pages36
JournalProtein and Cell
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • human diseases
  • liquid biopsy
  • peripheral blood circular RNA
  • translational biomarkers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Drug Discovery
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'The potential of using blood circular RNA as liquid biopsy biomarker for human diseases'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this