The circRNA CNEACR regulates necroptosis of cardiomyocytes through Foxa2 suppression

Cell Death Differ. 2022 Mar;29(3):527-539. doi: 10.1038/s41418-021-00872-2. Epub 2021 Sep 29.


Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are differentially expressed in various cardiovascular disease including myocardial ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury. However, their functional impact on cardiomyocyte cell death, in particular, in necrotic forms of death remains elusive. In this study, we found that the level of mmu_circ_000338, a cardiac- necroptosis-associated circRNA (CNEACR), was reduced in hypoxia-reoxygenation (H/R) exposed cardiomyocytes and I/R-injured mice hearts. The enforced expression of CNEACR attenuated the necrotic form of cardiomyocyte death caused by H/R and suppressed of myocardial necrosis in I/R injured mouse heart, which was accompanied by a marked reduction of myocardial infarction size and improved cardiac function. Mechanistically, CNEACR directly binds to histone deacetylase (HDAC7) in the cytoplasm and interferes its nuclear entry. This leads to attenuation of HDAC7-dependent suppression of forkhead box protein A2 (Foxa2) transcription, which can repress receptor-interacting protein kinase 3 (Ripk3) gene by binding to its promoter region. In addition, CNEACR-mediated upregulation of FOXA2 inhibited RIPK3-dependent necrotic/necroptotic death of cardiomyocytes. Our study reveals that circRNAs such as CNEACR can regulate the cardiomyocyte necroptosis associated activity of HDACs, promotes cell survival and improves cardiac function in I/R-injured heart. Hence, the CNEACR/HDAC7/Foxa2/ RIPK3 axis could be an efficient target for alleviating myocardial damage caused by necroptotic death in ischemia heart diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 3-beta / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Myocardial Infarction* / genetics
  • Myocardial Infarction* / metabolism
  • Myocardial Reperfusion Injury* / genetics
  • Myocardial Reperfusion Injury* / metabolism
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / metabolism
  • Necroptosis
  • RNA, Circular / genetics


  • Foxa2 protein, mouse
  • RNA, Circular
  • Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 3-beta