Research Papers:

Genome-wide analysis of circular RNAs in prenatal and postnatal muscle of sheep

Cunyuan Li, Xiaoyue Li, Yang Yao, Qiman Ma, Wei Ni _, Xiangyu Zhang, Yang Cao, Wureli Hazi, Dawei Wang, Renzhe Quan, Xiaoxu Hou, Zhijin Liu, Qianqian Zhan, Li Liu, Mengdan Zhang, Shuting Yu and Shengwei Hu

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:97165-97177. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.21835

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Cunyuan Li1,*, Xiaoyue Li1,*,Yang Yao1,*, Qiman Ma1, Wei Ni1, Xiangyu Zhang1, Yang Cao1, Wureli Hazi2, Dawei Wang1, Renzhe Quan1, Xiaoxu Hou1, Zhijin Liu1, Qianqian Zhan1, Li Liu1, Mengdan Zhang1, Shuting Yu1 and Shengwei Hu1

1College of Life Sciences, Shihezi University, Shihezi, Xinjiang, 832003, China

2College of Animal Science and Technology, Shihezi University, Shihezi, Xinjiang, 832003, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Wei Ni, email: [email protected]

Shengwei Hu, email: [email protected]

Keywords: sheep, circRNAs, muscle, expression profiles, RNA-seq

Received: June 05, 2017     Accepted: September 23, 2017     Published: October 12, 2017


Circular RNAs (circRNAs), a type of non-coding RNA with circular structure, were generated by back splicing and widely expressed in animals and plants. Recent studies have shown that circRNAs extensively participate in cell proliferation, cell differentiation, cell autophagy and other biological processes. However, the role and expression of circRNAs in the development and growth of muscle have not been studied in sheep. In our study, we first used RNA-seq to study the circRNAs in prenatal and postnatal longissimus dorsi muscle of sheep. A total of 6113 circRNAs were detected from the RNA-seq data. Several circRNAs were identified using reverse transcription PCR, DNA sequencing and RNase R digestion experiments. The expression levels of several circRNAs in prenatal and postnatal muscle were confirmed by Real-Time RT-PCR. The gene ontology (GO) and KEGG enrichment analysis of the host gene of the circRNAs showed that these circRNAs were mainly involved in the growth and development of muscle related signaling pathways. These circRNAs might sponge microRNAs (miRNAs) in predicted circRNA-miRNA-mRNA networks. The circRNAs expression profiles in muscle provided an important reference for the study of circRNAs in sheep.

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