Circular RNA Expression Profiling Identifies Prostate Cancer- Specific circRNAs in Prostate Cancer

Cell Physiol Biochem. 2018;50(5):1903-1915. doi: 10.1159/000494870. Epub 2018 Nov 5.


Background/aims: Prostate cancer (PCa) is one of the main cancers that damage males' health severely with high morbidity and mortality, but there is still no ideal molecular marker for the diagnosis and prognosis of prostate cancer.

Methods: To determine whether the differentially expressed circRNAs in prostate cancer can serve as novel biomarkers for prostate cancer diagnosis, we screened differentially expressed circRNAs using SBC-ceRNA array in 4 pairs of prostate tumor and paracancerous tissues. A circRNA-miRNA-mRNA regulatory network for the differential circRNAs and their host genes was constructed by Cytoscape3.5.1 software. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis (qRT-PCR) was performed to confirm the microarray data.

Results: We found 1021 differentially expressed circRNAs in PCa tumor using SBC-ceRNA array and confirmed the expression of circ_0057558, circ_0062019 and SLC19A1 in PCa cell lines and tumor tissues through qRT-PCR analysis. We demonstrated that combination of PSA level and two differentially expressed circRNAs showed significantly increased AUC, sensitivity and specificity (0.938, 84.5% and 90.9%, respectively) than PSA alone (AUC of serum PSA was 0.854). Moreover, circ_0057558 was correlated positively with total cholesterol. The functional network of circRNA-miRNA-mRNA analysis showed that circ_0057558 and circ_0034467 regulated miR-6884, and circ_0062019 and circ_0060325 regulated miR-5008.

Conclusion: Our results demonstrated that differentially expressed circRNAs (circ_0062019 and circ_0057558) and host gene SLC19A1 of circ_0062019 could be used as potential novel biomarkers for prostate cancer.

Keywords: Biomarkers; Functional network analysis; Prostate cancer; circRNAs.

MeSH terms

  • Area Under Curve
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Regulatory Networks / genetics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / blood
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / genetics
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism
  • RNA / metabolism*
  • RNA, Circular
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • ROC Curve
  • Reduced Folate Carrier Protein / genetics
  • Transcriptome*


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • MicroRNAs
  • RNA, Circular
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Reduced Folate Carrier Protein
  • SLC19A1 protein, human
  • RNA
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen