Research Papers:

Long noncoding RNAs expression profile and functional networks in rheumatoid arthritis

Donghua Xu, Ye Jiang, Lu Yang, Xixing Hou, Jihong Wang, Weijun Gu, Xiaodong Wang, Lanyu Liu, Juan Zhang and Hongying Lu _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:95280-95292. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.20036

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Donghua Xu1,2,*, Ye Jiang3,*, Lu Yang3,*, Xixing Hou1, Jihong Wang1, Weijun Gu1, Xiaodong Wang1, Lanyu Liu4, Juan Zhang5 and Hongying Lu6

1Department of Rheumatology and Immunology, The Affiliated Hospital of Weifang Medical University, Weifang 261000, China

2Clinical Medicine College of Weifang Medical University, Weifang 261000, China

3Department of Laboratory Medicine, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing 210029, China

4Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Weifang Hospital of Maternal and Child Health, Weifang 261000, Shandong Province, China

5Department of Rehabilitation, Affiliated Huai’an Hospital of Xuzhou Medical College and Second People’s Hospital of Huai’an, Huai’an 223001, China

6Functional Laboratory, Clinical Medicine College of Weifang Medical University, Weifang 261000, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Hongying Lu, email: [email protected]

Juan Zhang, email: [email protected]

Keywords: long noncoding RNAs, rheumatoid arthritis, toll like receptor

Received: June 10, 2017     Accepted: July 25, 2017     Published: August 08, 2017


The modifying effects of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) recently have drawn much attention; however, the underlying mechanisms remain largely unknown. Herein, we aim to investigate the expression profile of lncRNAs in RA and identify promising targets for RA diagnosis and treatment. Microarray screening and real-time PCR of lncRNAs were performed by use of serum samples from 3 RA patients and 3 healthy controls. Significantly differentially expressed lncRNAs were verified in serum samples from 43 RA patients and 40 healthy controls by real-time PCR. We found that there were 73 up-regulated and 61 down-regulated lncRNAs as well as 128 up-regulated and 37 down-regulated mRNAs in serum samples of RA patients. Validation in RA clinical samples indicated 5 of these lncRNAs were significantly up-regulated including RNA143598, RNA143596, HIX0032090, IGHCgamma1, and XLOC_002730. Significant association was observed between these lncRNAs and the disease course, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), rheumatoid factor (RF) as well as anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP) antibody. Additionally, 55 of the differentially expressed mRNAs were associated with 41 lncRNAs and were involved in signaling pathways of toll like receptors (TLRs), nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB), and cytokine, especially the IRF3/IRF7 mediated signaling transduction. Our study firstly shows the specific profile of lncRNAs in the serum of RA patients and potential signaling pathways involved in RA pathogenesis, which may provide novel targets for the diagnosis and treatment of patients with RA.

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