Screening for differentially expressed circRNAs in ischemic stroke by RNA sequencing

BMC Neurol. 2021 Sep 25;21(1):370. doi: 10.1186/s12883-021-02397-0.


Background: Ischemic stroke is a disease with high rate of death and disability worldwide. CircRNAs, as a novel type of non-coding RNAs, lacking 5' caps and 3' poly-A tails, has been associated with ischemic stroke. This study aimed to investigate key circRNAs related to ischemic stroke.

Methods: RNA sequencing was performed obtain the circRNA expression profiles from peripheral whole blood of three ischemic stroke patients and three healthy individuals. Through bioinformatic analysis, differentially expressed circRNAs (DEcircRNAs) were identified, and GO and pathway analyses for the host genes of DEcircRNAs were conducted. The expression levels of selected circRNAs were analyzed with qRT-PCR. To further explore the functions of key circRNAs, a DEcircRNA-miRNA interaction network was constructed.

Results: A total of 736 DEcircRNAs were detected in ischemic stroke. Functional annotation of host genes of DEcircRNAs revealed several significantly enriched pathways, including Fc epsilon RI signaling pathway, B cell receptor signaling pathway, and T cell receptor signaling pathway. The qRT-PCR results were largely in keeping with our RNA-seq data. The ROC curve analyses indicated that hsa_circ_0000745, hsa_circ_0001459, hsa_circ_0003694 and hsa_circ_0007706 with relatively high diagnostic value. A circRNA-miRNA network, including 1544 circRNA-miRNA pairs, 456 circRNAs and 4 miRNAs, was obtained.

Conclusions: The results of our study may help to elucidate the specific mechanism underlying ischemic stroke.

Keywords: CircRNA; High-throughput sequencing; Host gene; Ischemic stroke.

MeSH terms

  • Brain Ischemia* / genetics
  • Humans
  • Ischemic Stroke*
  • MicroRNAs* / genetics
  • RNA, Circular
  • Sequence Analysis, RNA
  • Stroke* / genetics


  • MicroRNAs
  • RNA, Circular