circRNAs in Human Healthy and Diseases

A special issue of Non-Coding RNA (ISSN 2311-553X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 April 2024) | Viewed by 4057

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
School of Life Sciences and Technology, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China
Interests: computational Biology; circular RNAs; long noncoding RNAs; alternative splicing; transposons
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are a class of endogenous RNAs characterized by a covalently closed continuous loop, derived from various back-splicing events of pre-mRNA. Accumulating lines of evidence have shown that circRNAs play a crucial role in a broad range of human diseases, such as cancers, cardiovascular and metabolic disorders, and neurodegenerative diseases. In addition, due to their highly stable nature and remarkable tissue specificity, circRNAs have emerged as reliable biomarkers of disease course and treatment efficacy. Thus, the identification and prediction of human disease-associated circRNAs are of significant importance. In this Special Issue, we present a series of articles that lay out our current understanding of circRNA in disease diagnosis and treatment, discussing potential applications for future circRNA research.

Prof. Dr. Xiao-Ou Zhang
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • circular RNAs
  • human diseases
  • cancers
  • biomarkers
  • disease diagnosis and treatment
  • bioinformatics

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

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15 pages, 2914 KiB  
Article
Discovery and Comprehensive Characterization of Novel Circular RNAs of the Apoptosis-Related BOK Gene in Human Ovarian and Prostate Cancer Cells, Using Nanopore Sequencing
by Christos K. Kontos, Despina Hadjichambi, Maria Papatsirou, Paraskevi Karousi, Spyridon Christodoulou, Diamantis C. Sideris and Andreas Scorilas
Non-Coding RNA 2023, 9(5), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna9050057 - 24 Sep 2023
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Abstract
CircRNAs have become a novel scientific research hotspot, and an increasing number of studies have shed light on their involvement in malignant progression. Prompted by the apparent scientific gap in circRNAs from apoptosis-related genes, such as BOK, we focused on the identification [...] Read more.
CircRNAs have become a novel scientific research hotspot, and an increasing number of studies have shed light on their involvement in malignant progression. Prompted by the apparent scientific gap in circRNAs from apoptosis-related genes, such as BOK, we focused on the identification of novel BOK circRNAs in human ovarian and prostate cancer cells. Total RNA was extracted from ovarian and prostate cancer cell lines and reversely transcribed using random hexamer primers. A series of PCR assays utilizing gene-specific divergent primers were carried out. Next, third-generation sequencing based on nanopore technology followed by extensive bioinformatics analysis led to the discovery of 23 novel circRNAs. These novel circRNAs consist of both exonic and intronic regions of the BOK gene. Interestingly, the exons that form the back-splice junction were truncated in most circRNAs, and multiple back-splice sites were found for each BOK exon. Moreover, several BOK circRNAs are predicted to sponge microRNAs with a key role in reproductive cancers, while the presence of putative open reading frames indicates their translational potential. Overall, this study suggests that distinct alternative splicing events lead to the production of novel BOK circRNAs, which could come into play in the molecular landscape and clinical investigation of ovarian and prostate cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue circRNAs in Human Healthy and Diseases)
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Review

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13 pages, 1505 KiB  
Review
Novel Insights into Circular RNAs in Metastasis in Breast Cancer: An Update
by Paola Zepeda-Enríquez, Macrina B. Silva-Cázares and César López-Camarillo
Non-Coding RNA 2023, 9(5), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna9050055 - 16 Sep 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2037
Abstract
Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are single-stranded closed non-coding RNA molecules that are aberrantly expressed and produce tumor-specific gene signatures in human cancers. They exert biological functions by acting as transcriptional regulators, microRNA sponges, and protein scaffolds, regulating the formation of protein–RNA complexes and, ultimately, [...] Read more.
Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are single-stranded closed non-coding RNA molecules that are aberrantly expressed and produce tumor-specific gene signatures in human cancers. They exert biological functions by acting as transcriptional regulators, microRNA sponges, and protein scaffolds, regulating the formation of protein–RNA complexes and, ultimately, regulating gene expression. Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is one of the most aggressive cancers of the mammary gland and has a poor prognosis. Studies of circRNAs in TNBC are limited but have demonstrated these molecules’ pivotal roles in cell proliferation, invasion, metastasis, and resistance to chemo/radiotherapy, suggesting that they could be potential prognostic biomarkers and novel therapeutic targets. Here, we reviewed the status of actual knowledge about circRNA biogenesis and functions and summarized novel findings regarding their roles in TNBC development and progression. In addition, we discussed recent data about the importance of exosomes in the transport and export of circRNAs in TNBC. Deep knowledge of circRNA functions in metastasis and therapy responses could be an invaluable guide in the identification of novel therapeutic targets for advancing the treatment of TNBC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue circRNAs in Human Healthy and Diseases)
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