Brazilian Journal of medical and biological research

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Circular RNA hsa_circ_0000523 regulates the proliferation and apoptosis of colorectal cancer cells as miRNA sponge

Y. Jin , L.L. Yu , B. Zhang , C.F. Liu, Y. Chen

Among the novel class of endogenous long non-coding RNAs, circular RNA (circRNA) is known as a key regulator in the
development and progression of different cancers. Its function and mechanism in the tumorigenesis of colorectal cancer,
however, has not been well studied. This study thus aimed to investigate potential regulation of colorectal cancer by circRNAs
and the corresponding regulatory mechanism. We demonstrated that the expression of circRNA hsa_circ_0000523 (also known
as circ_006229) was down-regulated in different colorectal cancer cell lines. It was also found that interference of hsa_
circ_0000523 induced proliferation and suppressed apoptosis of colorectal cancer cells, the proliferation rate of which was
reduced by the overexpression of hsa_circ_0000523. In addition, we found that miR-31 could recognize hsa_circ_0000523
sequence and that it acted as a ‘‘sponge’’ of miR-31, indirectly regulating Wnt/b-catenin signaling pathway, which was involved
in the progression of colorectal cancer. The results suggested that the expression of hsa_circ_0000523 correlated to the
tumorigenesis of colorectal cancer cells. In addition, as a sponge of miR-31, the low level of hsa_circ_0000523 led to activation
of Wnt/b-catenin signaling pathway, inducing the subsequent progress of colorectal cancer.

Keywords: Circular RNA hsa_circ_0000523; Colorectal cancer; Proliferation; Sponge; Interference

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