Identification of Circular RNAs as Biomarker Candidates in Lung Cancer Treatment

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Institute of Health Sciences, Department of Basic Oncology, Ege University, Izmir, Turkey.

2 Atatürk Health Care Vocational School, Ege University, Izmir, Turkey Turkey.

3 Translational Pulmonary Research Center (EGESAM), Ege University, Izmir, Turkey.

4 Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Ege University, Izmir, Turkey.


Objective: Lung cancer is the most common malignancy and among the leading cause of cancer death worldwide. Therefore, there is an important need for biomarkers that can be used in the early diagnosis of the disease and in the follow-up of treatment. Circular RNAs (circRNAs) have a covalently closed circular structure that lacks 3′ and 5′ polar ends and is resistant to RNAase enzymes. Due to these properties, they can be stably found in body fluids. Therefore, they can serve as potential biomarkers in the diagnosis, monitoring of therapeutic response and prognosis of cancer. In our study, we aimed to investigate the expression levels of circRNA molecules in the treatment of lung cancer and to determine those that have the potential to be biomarkers. Methods: In this in vitro study, expression levels of 163 circRNAs were investigated in A549 cells, a non-small cell lung cancer cell line, before and after treatment with carboplatin and pemetrexed. Total RNA isolation and cDNA synthesis were performed after treatments. Expression levels of circRNA genes were determined by RT-qPCR method with the designed divergent primer sequences. Results: The study revealed the characterisation of differentially expressed circRNAs by treatment in lung cancer cells. Of them, hsa_circ_0001320 is not expressed in cancer cells, is expressed only after treatment, and increased the level of its expression in response to combination therapy. Conclusion: As a result, while carboplatin, pemetrexed, and combined drug applications changed the expression levels of some circRNAs in lung cancer cells, some circRNAs were expressed only after treatment. In treatment follow-up and management, hsa_circ_0001320 has been identified as potential biomarker candidate.


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