Circ-RNA Expression Pattern and circ-RNA-miRNA-mRNA Network in The Pathogenesis of Human Intervertebral Disc Degeneration

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Orthopedic, No. 89 Hospital of Chinese PLA, Weifang, 261021, China

2 Stomatology Medical College, Weifang Medical University, Weifang 261053, Shandong, China

3 Clinical Medical College, Weifang Medical University, Weifang 261053, Shandong, China


The present study aimed to screen the differentially expressed (DE) circular RNAs (circ-RNAs) between lumbar intervertebral disc degeneration (IVDD) and normal tissues. Material and Methods In this experimental study, microarray hybridization was performed to evaluate circ-RNA expression, and the DE circ-RNAs were confirmed by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). Host genes of DE circ-RNAs were predicted, and their functions were evaluated. Further, a competitive endogenesis (ce) RNA network among 4 DE circ-RNAs-miRNA-mRNA was constructed by Cytoscape.
A total of 2636 circ-RNAs were detected in all samples; among them, 89.23% were exonic circ-RNAs. There were 138 DE circ-RNAs, including 134 up-regulated circ-RNAs and 4 downregulated circ-RNAs in IVDD samples. qRT-PCR validation experiments showed that expression trends of hsa_circ_0003239, hsa_circ_0003162, hsa_circ_0005918, and hsa_circ_0005556 were in line with the microarray analysis results. Functional enrichment analysis showed that host genes of DE circ-RNAs significantly disturbed pathways of regulation of actin cytoskeleton, propanoate metabolism, and ErbB signaling pathway. The four DE circ-RNAs related ceRNA network was constructed. Conclusions Our results revealed that circ-RNAs can function as miRNA sponges and regulate parent gene expression to affect IVDD.