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Anatol J Cardiol. 2019 Jan;21(1):2-10. doi: 10.14744/AnatolJCardiol.2018.35902.

Circular RNA expression profiles of persistent atrial fibrillation in patients with rheumatic heart disease.

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Department of Cardiology, Xijing Hospital, Air Force Military Medical University (Fourth Military Medical University); Xi'an-China.



To investigate the expression profile of circular RNAs (circRNAs) and proposed circRNA-microRNA (miRNA) regulatory network in atrial fibrillation (AF).


Atrial tissues from patients with persistent AF with rheumatic heart disease and non-AF myocardium with normal hearts were collected for circRNA differential expression analyses by high-throughput sequencing. The Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway enrichment analyses were performed to predict the potential functions of the differentially expressed genes and AF-related pathways. Co-expression networks of circRNA-miRNA were constructed based on the correlation analyses between the differentially expressed RNAs. Quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was performed to validate the results.


A total of 108 circRNAs were found to be differentially expressed in AF. Among them, 51 were up-regulated, and 57 were down-regulated. Dysregulated circRNAs were validated by quantitative real-time PCR. The GO and KEGG pathway enrichment analyses were executed to determine the principal functions of the significantly deregulated genes. Furthermore, we constructed correlated expression networks between circRNAs and miRNAs. circRNA19591, circRNA19596, and circRNA16175 interacted with 36, 28, and 18 miRNAs, respectively; miR-29b-1-5p and miR-29b-2-5p were related to 12 down-regulated circRNAs, respectively.


Our findings provide a novel perspective on circRNAs involved in AF due to rheumatic heart disease and establish the foundation for future research of the potential roles of circRNAs in AF.

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