Research Papers: Pathology:

CircRNA expression pattern and circRNA-miRNA-mRNA network in the pathogenesis of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis

Xi Jin _, Chun-yan Feng, Zun Xiang, Yi-peng Chen and You-ming Li

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:66455-66467. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.12186

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Xi Jin1, Chun-yan Feng2, Zun Xiang1, Yi-peng Chen1 and You-ming Li1

1 Department of Gastroenterology, The First Affiliated Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

2 Department of Clinical Medicine, Hangzhou Medical College, Hangzhou, China

Correspondence to:

Xi Jin, email:

Keywords: NASH, microarray, qRT-PCR, circRNA, miRNA, Pathology Section

Received: July 22, 2016 Accepted: August 31, 2016 Published: September 22, 2016


The pathogenesis of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is still unclear, where involvement of circRNA is considered for its active role as “miRNA sponge”. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the circRNA expression pattern in NASH and further construct the circRNA-miRNA-mRNA network for in-depth mechanism exploration. Briefly, NASH mice model was established by Methionine and choline deficiency (MCD) diet feeding. Liver circRNA and mRNA profile was initially screened by microarray and ensuing qRT-PCR verification was carried out. The overlapped predicted miRNAs as downstream targets of circRNAs and upstream regulators of mRNAs were verified by qRT-PCR and final circRNA-miRNA-mRNA network was constructed. Gene Ontology (GO) and KEGG pathway analysis were further applied to enrich the huge mRNA microarray data. To sum up, there were 69 up and 63 down regulated circRNAs as well as 2760 up and 2465 down regulated mRNAs in NASH group, comparing with control group. Randomly selected 13 of 14 mRNAs and 2 of 8 circRNAs were successfully verified by qRT-PCR. Through predicted overlapped miRNA verification, four circRNA-miRNA-mRNA pathways were constructed, including circRNA_002581-miR-122-Slc1a5, circRNA_002581- miR-122-Plp2, circRNA_002581-miR-122-Cpeb1 and circRNA_007585-miR-326- UCP2. GO and KEGG pathway analysis also enriched specific mRNAs. Therefore, circRNA profile may serve as candidate for NASH diagnosis and circRNA-miRNA -mRNA pathway may provide novel mechanism for NASH.

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