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Identification of lncRNAs involved in biological regulation in early age-related macular degeneration

Authors Zhu W, Meng YF, Xing Q, Tao JJ, Lu J, Wu Y

Received 23 April 2017

Accepted for publication 26 June 2017

Published 17 October 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 7589—7602


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Linlin Sun

Wei Zhu,1,* Yi-Fang Meng,1,* Qian Xing,1 Jian-Jun Tao,1 Jiong Lu,1 Yan Wu2

1Department of Ophthalmology, Changshu No. 2 People’s Hospital, Changshu, China; 2Department of Ophthalmology, First Hospital Affiliated to Soochow University, Suzhou, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Background: Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is one of the most common causes of adult blindness in developed countries. However, the role of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) in the development and progression of early AMD is unclear.
Methods: We established the lncRNA profile of early AMD by reannotation of microarrays from the gene expression omnibus database. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction was used to determine the expression of selected lncRNAs.
Results: The expression profiles of 9 cases of AMD and 7 controls were studied. A total of 266 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were detected (94 upregulated and 172 downregulated). Among all the DEGs, 64 were lncRNAs. Advanced bioinformatics analyses demonstrated that differentially expressed lncRNAs could play significant roles in visual perception, sensory perception of light stimulus, and cognition. The pathway analyses showed that the two most significantly influenced Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathways were those of phototransduction and purine metabolism. By the analyses of the key lncRNAs, it was found that RP11-234O6.2 was downregulated in the aging retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cellular model. Exogenous RP11-234O6.2 treatment led to increased cell viability and improved apoptosis but it did not affect the cell migration ability of aging RPE cells.
Conclusion: This study indicated that lncRNAs are differentially expressed in early AMD and may produce important regulative effects. An lncRNA, RP11-234O6.2, might be involved in the biological regulation of early AMD and have therapeutic potential.

Keywords: age-related macular degeneration, lncRNAs, microarray, bioinformatics analyses

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