Circular RNAs are abundant and dynamically expressed during embryonic muscle development in chickens

DNA Res. 2018 Feb 1;25(1):71-86. doi: 10.1093/dnares/dsx039.


The growth and development of skeletal muscle is regulated by proteins as well as non-coding RNAs. Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are universally expressed in various tissues and cell types, and regulate gene expression in eukaryotes. To identify the circRNAs during chicken embryonic skeletal muscle development, leg muscles of female Xinghua (XH) chicken at three developmental time points 11 embryo age (E11), 16 embryo age (E16) and 1 day post hatch (P1) were performed RNA sequencing. We identified 13,377 circRNAs with 3,036 abundantly expressed and most were derived from coding exons. A total of 462 differentially expressed circRNAs were identified (fold change > 2; q-value < 0.05). Parental genes of differentially expressed circRNAs were related to muscle biological processes. There were 946 exonic circRNAs have been found that harbored one or more miRNA-binding site for 150 known miRNAs. We validated that circRBFOX2s promoted cell proliferation through interacted with miR-206. These data collectively indicate that circRNAs are abundant and dynamically expressed during embryonic muscle development and could play key roles through sequestering miRNAs as well as other functions.

Keywords: cell proliferation; chicken; circular RNA; embryonic development; skeletal muscle.