Research Papers:

Circular RNA alterations are involved in resistance to avian leukosis virus subgroup-J-induced tumor formation in chickens

Xinheng Zhang, Yiming Yan, Xiaoya Lei, Aijun Li, Huanmin Zhang, Zhenkai Dai, Xinjian Li, Weiguo Chen, Wencheng Lin, Feng Chen, Jingyun Ma and Qingmei Xie _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:34961-34970. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.16442

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Xinheng Zhang1,2,5,6, Yiming Yan1,2,5, Xiaoya Lei1,2,5, Aijun Li3, Huanmin Zhang4, Zhenkai Dai1,2,5, Xinjian Li1,2,5, Weiguo Chen1,2,5,6, Wencheng Lin1,2,5,6, Feng Chen1,2,5,6, Jingyun Ma1,2,5,6 and Qingmei Xie1,2,5,6

1College of Animal Science, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, 510642, P.R. China

2Guangdong Provincial Key Lab of Agro-Animal Genomics and Molecular Breeding, Guangzhou, 510642, P.R. China

3College of Science and Engineering, Jinan University, Guangzhou, 510632, P.R. China

4USDA, Agriculture Research Service, Avian Disease and Oncology Laboratory, East Lansing, MI, 48823, USA

5Key Laboratory of Animal Health Aquaculture and Environmental Control, Guangdong, Guangzhou, 510642, P.R. China

6South China Collaborative Innovation Center for Poultry Disease Control and Product Safety, Guangzhou, 510642, P.R. China

Correspondence to:

Qingmei Xie, email: [email protected]

Keywords: circular RNA, ALV-J-resistant chickens, circular-seq, tumor

Received: November 25, 2016    Accepted: March 08, 2017    Published: March 22, 2017


Avian leukosis virus subgroup (ALV-J) is an oncogenic neoplasm-inducing retrovirus that causes significant economic losses in the poultry industry. Recent studies have demonstrated circular RNAs (circRNAs) are implicated in pathogenic processes; however, no research has indicated circRNAs are involved in resistance to disease. In this study, over 1800 circRNAs were detected by circRNA sequencing of liver tissues from ALV-J-resistant (n = 3) and ALV-J-susceptible chickens (n = 3). 32 differentially expressed circRNAs were selected for analyzing including 12 upregulated in ALV-J-resistant chickens and 20 upregulated in ALV-J-susceptible chickens, besides, the top five microRNAs (miRNAs) for 12 upregulated circRNAs in ALV-J-resistant chickens were analyzed. Gene ontology and KEGG pathway analyses were performed for miRNA target genes, the predicted genes were mainly involved in immune pathways. This study provides the first evidence that circRNA alterations are involved in resistance to ALV-J-induced tumor formation. We propose circRNAs may help to mediate tumor induction and development in chickens.

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