• Lu C, Chen B, Chen C, Li H, Wang D, Tan Y, Weng H. () CircNr1h4 regulates the pathological process of renal injury in salt-sensitive hypertensive mice by targeting miR-155-5p. Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine n/a(n/a),

Circular RNAs are a class of widespread and diverse endogenous RNAs that may regulate gene expression in various diseases, but their regulation and function in hypertensive renal injury remain unclear. In this study, we generated ribosomal-depleted RNA sequencing data from normal mouse kidneys and from injured mouse kidneys induced by deoxycorticosterone acetate-salt hypertension and identified at least 4900 circRNA candidates. A total of 124 of these circRNAs were differentially expressed between the normal and injured kidneys. Furthermore, we characterized one abundant circRNA, termed circNr1h4, which is derived from the Nr1h4 gene and significantly down-regulated in the injured kidneys. RNA sequencing data and qPCR analysis also showed many microRNAs and mRNAs, including miR-155-5p and fatty acid reductase 1 (Far1), were differentially expressed between the normal and injured kidney and related to circNr1h4. In vitro, the silencing of circNr1h4 or overexpression of miR-155-5p significantly decreased Far1 levels and increased reactive oxygen species. Mechanistic investigations indicated that circNr1h4 acts as a competing endogenous RNA for miR-155-5p, leading to regulation of its target gene Far1. Our study provides novel insight into the molecular mechanisms underlying kidney injury in hypertension, which will be required to develop therapeutic strategies of targeting circRNAs for hypertensive kidney injury.

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