Crosstalk in competing endogenous RNA networks reveals new circular RNAs involved in the pathogenesis of early HIV infection.

Published online

Journal Article

BACKGROUND: The events in early HIV infection (EHI) are important determinants of disease severity and progression rate to AIDS, but the mechanisms of pathogenesis in EHI have not been fully understood. Circular RNAs (circRNAs) have been verified as "microRNA sponges" that regulate gene expression through competing endogenous RNA (ceRNA) networks, but circRNA expression profiles and their contribution to EHI pathogenesis are still unclear. METHODS: Two different libraries were constructed with RNA from human peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 3 HARRT-naive EHI patients and 3 healthy controls (HCs). The complete transcriptomes were sequenced with RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) and miRNA sequencing (miRNA-Seq). The differentially expressed (DE) RNAs were validated with RT-qPCR. The circRNA profile and circRNA-associated-ceRNA network in EHI were analyzed with the integrated data of RNA-Seq and miRNA-Seq. Gene ontology (GO) analysis was used to annotate the circRNAs involved in the circRNA-associated-ceRNA networks. RESULTS: A total of 1365 circRNAs, 30 miRNAs, and 2049 mRNAs were differentially expressed between HARRT-naive EHI patients and HCs. A ceRNA network was constructed with 516 DE circRNAs and 903 DE mRNAs that shared miR response elements with 21 DE miRNAs. GO analysis demonstrated the multiple roles of the circRNAs enriched in EHI with circRNA-associated-ceRNA networks, such as immune response, inflammatory response and defense responses to virus, 67 circRNAs were revealed to be potentially involved in HIV-1 replication through regulating the expression of CCNK, CDKN1A and IL-15. CONCLUSIONS: This study, for the first time, revealed a large circRNA profile and complex pathogenesis roles of circRNAs in EHI. A group of enriched circRNAs and associated circRNA-associated-ceRNA networks might contribute to HIV replication regulation and provide novel potential targets for both the pathogenesis of EHI and antiviral therapy.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Zhang, Y; Zhang, H; An, M; Zhao, B; Ding, H; Zhang, Z; He, Y; Shang, H; Han, X

Published Date

  • November 29, 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 16 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 332 -

PubMed ID

  • 30486834

Pubmed Central ID

  • 30486834

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1479-5876

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1186/s12967-018-1706-1


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England