Potential Roles of Circular RNAs and Environmental and Clinical Factors in Intervertebral Disc Degeneration

Article Type:
Research/Original Article (دارای رتبه معتبر)

Intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD) is a common disability in the working-age population. The underlying pathogenesis of IDD needs elucidation. This study aimed to determine differentially expressed circular RNAs (circRNAs) in IDD by bioinformatics. Additionally, the environmental and clinical factors involved in IDD pathogenesis were reviewed.


The circRNA array profiling of patients with IDD and healthy individuals (GSE67566) was acquired from Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO). GEO2R was employed to analyze the expression profiles of the circRNAs. Functional in silico analysis was done on circRNAs with the highest differential expression. Environmental and clinical factors were reviewed through PubMed and Google Scholar.


Twenty-five circRNAs were differentially expressed in IDD. Two circRNAs (hsa_circRNA_101645 and hsa_circRNA_101852) exhibited the most downregulated and upregulated expressions. The functional in silico analysis showed that the aforementioned circRNAs harbored target
sites for AGO2 and EIF4A3 and several microRNAs. The upshots indicated that these 2 circular circRNAs might sponge hsa-miR-330-3p, hsa-miR-502-5p, hsa-miR-662, hsa-miR-874, and hsa-miR-646 and regulate PSD3, SIK2, PCYT1B, ARID5B, MTMR3, and HIPK2 expressions, which play significant roles
in autophagy and cellular senescence. Temperature, heavy metal exposure, age, overweight, occupation, exercise, hypertension, and smoking were the environmental and clinical factors associated with IDD progression.


Although the results need confirmation by experimental analysis, they reflect the possible role of particular circRNAs in IDD pathogenesis. The controversy concerning the association between IDD and environmental and clinical factors necessitates in-depth population research. Investigating novel molecular regulatory markers like circRNAs could clarify the underlying molecular mechanisms of IDD.

Environmental Health Engineering and Management Journal, Volume:9 Issue: 2, Spring 2022
189 to 200
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