Circ-RNA Expression Pattern and circ-RNA-miRNA-mRNA
Network in The Pathogenesis of Human
Intervertebral Disc Degeneration
The first two authors equally contributed in this study.
The present study aimed to screen the differentially expressed (DE) circular RNAs (circ-RNAs) between lumbar intervertebral disc degeneration (IVDD) and normal tissues.
Material and Methods
In this experimental study, microarray hybridization was performed to evaluate circ-RNA expression, and the DE circ-RNAs were confirmed by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). Host genes of DE circ-RNAs were predicted, and their functions were evaluated. Further, a competitive endogenesis (ce) RNA network among 4 DE circ-RNAs-miRNA-mRNA was constructed by Cytoscape.
A total of 2636 circ-RNAs were detected in all samples; among them, 89.23% were exonic circ-RNAs. There were 138 DE circ-RNAs, including 134 up-regulated circ-RNAs and 4 downregulated circ-RNAs in IVDD samples. qRT-PCR validation experiments showed that expression trends of hsa_circ_0003239, hsa_circ_0003162, hsa_circ_0005918, and hsa_circ_0005556 were in line with the microarray analysis results. Functional enrichment analysis showed that host genes of DE circ-RNAs significantly disturbed pathways of regulation of actin cytoskeleton, propanoate metabolism, and ErbB signaling pathway. The four DE circ-RNAs related ceRNA network was constructed.
Our results revealed that circ-RNAs can function as miRNA sponges and regulate parent gene expression to affect IVDD.