Research Papers:

Identification of long non-coding RNAs GAS5, linc0597 and lnc-DC in plasma as novel biomarkers for systemic lupus erythematosus

Guo-Cui Wu, Jun Li, Rui-Xue Leng, Xiang-Pei Li, Xiao-Mei Li, De-Guang Wang, Hai-Feng Pan _ and Dong-Qing Ye

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:23650-23663. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.15569

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Guo-Cui Wu1,2,*, Jun Li1,2,*, Rui-Xue Leng1,2, Xiang-Pei Li3, Xiao-Mei Li3, De-Guang Wang4, Hai-Feng Pan1,2, Dong-Qing Ye1,2

1Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Anhui Medical University, Hefei, Anhui, China

2The Key Laboratory of Major Autoimmune Diseases, Anhui, China

3Department of Rheumatology and Immunology, Anhui Provincial Hospital, Hefei, Anhui, China

4Department of Nephrology, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University, Hefei, Anhui, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work and should be considered co-first authors

Correspondence to:

Hai-Feng Pan, email: [email protected], [email protected]

Dong-Qing Ye, email: [email protected], [email protected]

Keywords: biomarker, diagnosis, long non-coding RNA, systemic lupus erythematosus

Received: August 04, 2016    Accepted: January 31, 2017    Published: February 21, 2017


Despite increasing evidence that long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) widely take part in human diseases, the role of lncRNAs in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is largely unknown. In this study, we performed a two-stage study to explore the plasma levels of five lncRNAs (GAS5, linc0949, linc0597, HOTAIRM1 and lnc-DC) and their potential as SLE biomarkers. Compared with healthy controls, plasma levels of GAS5 and lnc-DC were significantly decreased (P < 0.001 and P = 0.002, respectively) while linc0597 were overexpressed in SLE patients (P < 0.001). When SLE patients were divided into SLE without nephritis and lupus nephritis (LN), the levels of lnc-DC were significantly higher in LN compared with SLE without nephritis (P = 0.018), but no significant difference in levels of GAS5 and linc0597 were found between LN and SLE without nephritis; plasma linc0949 level showed no significant difference in all comparisons. Further evaluation on potential biomarkers showed that GAS5, linc0597 and lnc-DC may specifically identify patients with SLE, the combination of GAS5 and linc0597 provided better diagnostic accuracy; lnc-DC may discriminate LN from SLE without nephritis. In summary, GAS5, linc0597 and lnc-DC in plasma could be potential biomarkers for SLE.

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