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[en] Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are a group of non-protein-coding RNAs generated from back splicing. Emerging evidence has demonstrated its vital regulation on angiogenesis. However, the underlying mechanism responsible for circRNAs effects on vascular endothelial cells is still unclear. In the present study, we screened the expression profiles and investigated the physiological role of circRNAs in hypoxia-induced human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). Using circRNA microarray analysis, we identified 36 circRNAs that were significantly dysregulated including 14 down-regulated circRNAs and 22 up-regulated with 2-fold change (P < 0.05). From the over-expressed circRNAs, hsa-circ-0010729 was selected as candidate circRNA and which was validated to be significantly up-regulated using RT-PCR. In loss-of-function experiments of HUVECs, hsa-circ-0010729 knockdown suppressed the proliferation and migration ability and enhanced apoptosis. Bioinformatic prediction and luciferase assay revealed that hsa-circ-0010729 and hypoxia inducible factor 1 alpha (HIF-1α) were targeted by miR-186. Validation experiments verified that hsa-circ-0010729 was co-expressed with HIF-1α, being negatively correlated with miR-186. Moreover, rescue experiments demonstrated that miR-186 inhibitor could reverse the role of hsa-circ-0010729 knockdown on HUVECs progression. Overall, the present study identifies the crucial regulation of hsa-circ-0010729 on vascular endothelial cell proliferation and apoptosis via targeting miR-186/HIF-1α axis. - Highlights: • Circular RNA expression profile identifies hsa-circ-0010729 is up-regulated in hypoxia-induced HUVECs. • Hsa-circ-0010729 knockdown suppresses the proliferation and migration ability, and enhanced the apoptosis. • Hsa-circ-0010729 acts as an endogenous sponge of miR-186. • HIF-1α is targeted by miR-186. • Hsa-circ-0010729 regulates vascular endothelial cells proliferation and apoptosis via targeting miR-186/HIF-1α axis.