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21 September 2019 : Clinical Research

Construction and Analysis of a Long Non-Coding RNA (lncRNA)-Associated ceRNA Network in β-Thalassemia and Hereditary Persistence of Fetal Hemoglobin

Wenguang Jia1ADE, Siyuan Jia2BF, Ping Chen1D, Yunyan He1CF*

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.915946

Med Sci Monit 2019; 25:7079-7086

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Higher fetal hemoglobin (HbF) levels can ameliorate the clinical severity of β-thalassemia. The use of integrative strategies to combine results from gene microarray expression profiling, experimental evidence, and bioinformatics helps reveal functional long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) in β-thalassemia and HbF induction.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: In a previous study, a microarray profiling was performed of 7 individuals with high HbF levels and 7 normal individuals. Thirteen paired samples were used for validation. lncRNA NR_001589 and uc002fcj.1 were chosen for further research. The quantitative reverse transcription-PCR was used to detect the expression levels of 2 lncRNAs. The Spearman correlation test was employed. The nuclear and cytoplasmic distribution experiment in K562 cells was used to verify the subcellular localization of 2 lncRNAs. Potential relationships among lncRNAs, predicted microRNAs (miRNAs), and target gene HBG1/2 were based on competitive endogenous RNA theory and bioinformatics analysis.

RESULTS: Average expression levels of NR_001589 and uc002fcj.1 were significantly higher in the high-HbF group than in the control group. A positive correlation existed between NR_001589, uc002fcj.1, and HbF. The expression of NR_001589 was in both the cytoplasm and the nucleus, mostly (77%) in the cytoplasm. The expression of uc002fcj.1 was in both the cytoplasm and the nucleus; the cytoplasmic proportion was 43% of the total amount. A triple lncRNA-miRNA-mRNA network was established.

CONCLUSIONS: Novel candidate genetic factors associated with the HBG1/2 expression were identified. Further functional investigation of NR_001589 and uc002fcj.1 can help deepen the understanding of molecular mechanisms in β-thalassemia.

Keywords: Beta-thalassemia

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Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750
Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750