A 3-circular RNA signature as a noninvasive biomarker for diagnosis of colorectal cancer

Cancer Cell Int. 2019 Nov 4:19:276. doi: 10.1186/s12935-019-0995-7. eCollection 2019.


Background: Circular RNAs (circRNAs), a novel type of noncoding RNAs, play critical roles in the initiation and progression of cancer. Emerging studies also shows that circRNAs may function as potential markers for cancer diagnosis and treatment. However, the diagnostic value of circRNAs in colorectal cancer (CRC) remains need to be unearthed.

Methods: CircRNA microarray was performed to detect the differentially expressed circRNAs in eight plasma samples, including four colorectal cancer (CRC) and four normal samples. Besides, the results of microarray were validated by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). Moreover, ROC curve evaluation was performed to calculate the diagnostic value of significantly dysregulated circRNAs. In order to predict the potential mechanism of the significant circRNAs, circRNA-miRNA-mRNA network was constructed based on the TargetScan, miRTarBase and MIRDB database, as well as CircInteractome online software. Furthermore, Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway enrichment analyses were performed to further predict the function of meaningful circRNAs.

Results: Totally three differentially expressed circRNAs were identified in CRC plasma compared to normal plasma by circRNA microarray analysis, and the results was validated by qRT-PCR. Hsa_circ_0082182, hsa_circ_0000370 and hsa_circ_0035445 were identified and ROC curves analysis was used to calculate the single and joint diagnostic value. Furthermore, GO and KEGG analyses revealed that functions were mainly cancer-related, which indicated that the circRNAs were meaningfully associated with CRC cell proliferation and metastasis.

Conclusion: In conclusion, we have identified three circRNAs that are dysregulated in CRC plasma, including hsa_circ_0082182, hsa_circ_0000370 and hsa_circ_0035445. ROC curves showed that these circRNAs might have diagnostic value for colorectal cancer. Furthermore, bioinformatics analysis indicated that the above-mentioned circRNAs might be involved in the development of CRC.

Keywords: Biomarker; Diagnostic signature; ROC curve; circRNAs.