Int J Med Sci 2021; 18(5):1225-1239. doi:10.7150/ijms.51743

Research Paper

Identifying daily changes in circRNAs and circRNA-associated-ceRNA networks in the rat pineal gland

Yi Zheng#, Hao Jiang#, Hao-Qi Wang, Hai-Xiang Guo, Dong-Xu Han, Yi-Jie Huang, Yan Gao, Bao Yuan, Jia-Bao Zhang

Department of Laboratory Animals, Jilin Provincial Key Laboratory of Animal Model, Jilin University, Changchun 130062, Jilin, P.R. China.
#These authors contributed equally to this work.

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Citation:
Zheng Y, Jiang H, Wang HQ, Guo HX, Han DX, Huang YJ, Gao Y, Yuan B, Zhang JB. Identifying daily changes in circRNAs and circRNA-associated-ceRNA networks in the rat pineal gland. Int J Med Sci 2021; 18(5):1225-1239. doi:10.7150/ijms.51743. Available from https://www.medsci.org/v18p1225.htm

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Abstract

Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are a new class of covalently closed circular RNA molecules that are involved in many biological processes. However, information about circRNAs in the pineal gland, particularly that of rats, is limited. To establish resources for the study of the rat pineal gland, we performed transcriptome analysis of the pineal glands during the day and night.

In this study, 1413 circRNAs and 1989 miRNAs were identified in the pineal gland of rats during the night and day using the Illumina platform. Forty differentially expressed circRNAs and 93 differentially expressed miRNAs were obtained, among which 20 circRNAs and 37 miRNAs were significantly upregulated during the day and 20 circRNAs and 56 miRNAs were significantly upregulated during the night.

As circRNAs have been reported to work as miRNA sponges, we predicted 15940 interactions among 40 circRNAs, 93 miRNAs and 400 mRNAs with differential diurnal expression using miRanda and TargetScan to build a ceRNA regulatory network in the rat pineal gland.

The diurnal expression profile of circRNAs in the rat pineal gland may provide additional information about the role of circRNAs in regulating changes in melatonin circadian rhythms. The analyzed data reported in this study will be an important resource for future studies to elucidate the altered physiology of circRNAs in diurnal rhythms.

Keywords: Pineal gland, RNA sequencing, microRNAs, circular RNAs