Article Abstract

Microarray analysis reveals altered expression of multiple circular RNAs in the pathogenesis of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma

Authors: Hao Chen, Bin Zheng, Lin Huang, Wei Zheng, Chun Chen


Background: Esophageal carcinoma remains one of the most prevalent malignancies worldwide and has a poor prognosis. Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is the predominant type of esophageal carcinoma in Eastern Asia. The predilection site and biological behavior of ESCC differ from those of esophageal adenocarcinoma among patients in Western countries, indicating that ESCC has a distinctive oncogenesis mechanism. There are only a few studies reporting the role of circular RNAs (circRNAs) in the molecular mechanisms of ESCC. The purpose of this study was to identify the specific circRNAs involved in ESCC pathogenesis.
Methods: Cancerous tissues were acquired from surgical specimens from five ESCC patients, and adjacent non-neoplastic tissues were also collected as controls. All samples were analyzed by Arraystar Human circRNA Arrays. Differentially expressed circRNAs between two groups were identified by bioinformatics analysis, and seven circRNAs were randomly selected for further validation by qRT-PCR. circRNA/microRNA interactions were predicted with an in-house miRNA target prediction software from Arraystar.
Results: Compared with the adjacent non-neoplastic tissues, 267 circRNAs were significantly differentially expressed in ESCC tissues (fold change >1.5, P value <0.05). Among the seven selected circRNAs, the microarray data for five circRNAs were validated by qRT-PCR—two were upregulated (hsa_circRNA_101125 and hsa_circRNA_406826), and three were downregulated (hsa_circRNA_101004, hsa_circRNA_103836, and hsa_circRNA_101839). Finally, potential target miRNAs for the five confirmed circRNAs were predicted.
Conclusions: Our study demonstrates that multiple differentially expressed circRNAs are involved in the process of ESCC pathogenesis. Hsa_circRNA_101125 and hsa_circRNA_406826 may be potential new biomarkers for the diagnosis and treatment of ESCC. However, further studies are needed to clarify their specific regulatory mechanisms.