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Current Status of Functional Studies on Circular RNAs in Rheumatoid Arthritis and Their Potential Role as Diagnostic Biomarkers

Authors Xu Y, Chen F

Received 20 January 2021

Accepted for publication 9 March 2021

Published 30 March 2021 Volume 2021:14 Pages 1185—1193

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JIR.S302846

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Ning Quan


Yayun Xu,1– 3 Feihu Chen1– 3

1Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Anhui Medical University, Hefei, People’s Republic of China; 2The Key Laboratory of Major Autoimmune Diseases of Anhui Province, Anhui Institute of Innovative Drugs, School of Pharmacy, Anhui Medical University, Hefei, People’s Republic of China; 3School of Pharmacy, The Key Laboratory of Anti-Inflammatory and Immune Medicines, Ministry of Education, Hefei, People’s Republic of China

Correspondence: Feihu Chen
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Anhui Medical University, 81 Meishan Road, Hefei, 230032, People’s Republic of China
Email [email protected]

Abstract: Circular RNAs (circRNAs), a new class of endogenous non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs), are highly stable and exhibit tissue-specific expression. Accumulating evidence has indicated that circRNAs play crucial roles in the development and progression of multiple diseases. Notably, circRNAs, important epigenetic modulators of gene expression in inflammation and autoimmune regulation, have a close association with the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). RA, one of the most common systemic autoimmune diseases, is characterized by synovial hyperplasia and inflammation, and cartilage and bone destruction. Here, we focus on the roles of circRNAs in macrophage, synovial tissues, fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLSs), and cartilage tissues in pathogenesis and progression of RA, highlighting the potential of circRNAs in the blood as diagnostic biomarkers, and aiming at providing new insights into the diagnosis and therapy of this disease.

Keywords: circular RNAs, rheumatoid arthritis, fibroblast-like synoviocyte, macrophage, biomarkers, cartilage, pathogenesis

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