Research Papers:

Analysis of the circular RNA transcriptome in endometrial cancer

Bei Jun Chen, Frances L. Byrne, Konii Takenaka, Susan C. Modesitt, Ellen M. Olzomer, James D. Mills, Rhonda Farrell, Kyle L. Hoehn and Michael Janitz _

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:5786-5796. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.23534

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Bei Jun Chen1, Frances L. Byrne1, Konii Takenaka1, Susan C. Modesitt2, Ellen M. Olzomer1, James D. Mills3, Rhonda Farrell4, Kyle L. Hoehn1 and Michael Janitz1,5

1School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia

2Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Obstetrics and Gynecology Department, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, VA, USA

3Department of Pathology, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

4Gynecologic Oncology, Royal Hospital for Women, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia

5Paul-Flechsig-Institute for Brain Research, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany

Correspondence to:

Michael Janitz, email: [email protected]

Keywords: circRNAs; RNA-Seq; transcriptome; endometrial cancer; hotspot genes

Received: October 20, 2017     Accepted: December 01, 2017     Published: December 20, 2017


Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are a naturally occurring family of non-coding RNA that may regulate gene expression in mammals. circRNAs are more stable than messenger RNAs due to their resistance to RNA exonuclease. A growing body of evidence has shown that the expression of circRNAs is regulated during development in a tissue-specific manner. CircRNAs have been implicated in a number of cancers; however, their role in endometrial cancer (EC) is completely unknown. Here, we report the circular transcriptome specific for EC as determined by RNA sequencing. We found that the overall abundance of circRNAs is lower in EC than in normal endometrium. Further, there are numerous ‘hotspot’ genes from which circRNAs are transcribed that may account for alterations in circRNA expression between the normal and malignant endometrium. Most importantly, we have also identified circRNAs that are differentially expressed between malignant and normal endometrial tissue. The functional significance of these circRNAs in cancer remains to be determined, but they may serve as potential biomarkers for the diagnosis of EC or monitoring of EC progression.

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