Large-scale quantitative genomics analyzes the circRNA expression profile and identifies the key circRNA in regulating cell proliferation during the proliferation phase of rat LR

Researchers have been exploring the genetic mechanisms underlying the control of liver regeneration (LR). However, an integrated analysis of circRNAs expression of rat regenerating livers during the proliferation phase has not been performed yet. For this purpose, circRNAs expression profile was globally analyzed by high-throughput sequencing. It showed that 10,003 circRNAs were detected, and 164 circRNAs were differentially expressed. Subsequently, 27 circRNAs were predicted to bind to 58 candidate miRNAs and compete for miRNA-binding sites with 2195 mRNAs. By applying GO and KEGG analysis, it was predicted that these circRNAs significantly participated in tissue regeneration, regulation of cell proliferation and Ras, p53, Wnt, Jak-STAT, MAPK signalling pathways. Based on the number of the corresponding miRNAs and their role enriched and reported in cell proliferation of LR or hepatocellular carcinoma, four kinds of circRNAs (circ_03848, circ_08236, circ_13398 and circ_15013) were considered as the key circRNAs. The predicted competing endogenous RNA networks and bioinformatics analysis revealed the potential role of these circRNAs in LR, which would provide useful information for understanding the mechanism of LR.