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    To investigate the functions of circular RNAs (circRNAs) in axonal regeneration and degeneration after injury, circRNA expression profiles in the injured peripheral nerves were determined using a circRNA-based microarray. The results showed that 281 upregulated and 261 downregulated circRNAs were found in the proximal stump of the sciatic nerve after injury. In the distal stump after injury, 217 circRNAs were upregulated and 224 circRNAs were downregulated. The Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) enrichment and gene ontology (GO) analysis of circRNAs after injury were associated with axon regeneration pathways, including thyroid hormone, Ras signaling, endocytosis, and the ErbB signaling pathway, as well as with Schwann cell differentiation and proliferation, including the axon guidance, focal adhesion, Glutamatergic synapse, and MAPK signaling pathway. To verify the microarray results, among the regulated circRNAs, the upregulation of circRNA 012142 in both proximal and distal segments was validated using quantitative PCR analysis. The biological function of the circRNA 012412/microRNA/mRNA network based on GO analysis and KEGG pathway was identified in cell differentiation, phosphorylation, intracellular signaling transduction, and focal adhesion, the Rap1 signaling pathway. Thus, circRNAs after nerve injury may be involved in these biological functions during nerve regeneration and degeneration.


    Eun Jung Sohn, Hwan Tae Park. Differential expression of circular RNAs in the proximal and distal segments of the sciatic nerve after injury. Neuroreport. 2020 Jan 08;31(1):76-84

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    PMID: 31764243

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