Retinal Circular RNA hsa_circ_0087207 Expression Promotes Apoptotic Cell Death in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy-like Models


Yang Yi-Ping,Chang Yuh-Lih,Lai Yun-Hsien,Tsai Ping-HsingORCID,Hsiao Yu-Jer,Nguyen Long Hoang,Lim Xue-Zhen,Weng Chang-ChiORCID,Ko Yu-Ling,Yang Chang-HaoORCID,Hwang De-KuangORCID,Chen Shih-Jen,Chiou Shih-Hwa,Chiou Guang-YuhORCID,Wang An-Guor,Chien YuehORCID


Backgrounds: Leber’s hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON) is known as an inherited retinal disorder characterized by the bilateral central vision loss and degeneration of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). Unaffected LHON carriers are generally asymptomatic, suggesting that certain factors may contribute to the disease manifestations between carriers and patients who carry the same mutated genotypes. Methods: We first aimed to establish the iPSC-differentiated RGCs from the normal healthy subject, the carrier, and the LHON patient and then compared the differential expression profile of circular RNAs (CircRNAs) among RGCs from these donors in vitro. We further overexpressed or knocked down the most upregulated circRNA to examine whether this circRNA contributes to the distinct phenotypic manifestations between the carrier- and patient-derived RGCs. Results: iPSCs were generated from the peripheral blood cells from the healthy subject, the carrier, and the LHON patient and successfully differentiated into RGCs. These RGCs carried equivalent intracellular reactive oxygen species, but only LHON-patient iPSC-derived RGCs exhibited remarkable apoptosis. Next-generation sequencing and quantitative real-time PCR revealed the circRNA hsa_circ_0087207 as the most upregulated circRNA in LHON-patient iPSC-derived RGCs. Overexpression of hsa_circ_0087207 increased the apoptosis in carrier iPSC-derived RGCs, while knockdown of hsa_circ_0087207 attenuated the apoptosis in LHON-patient iPSC-derived RGCs. Predicted by bioinformatics approaches, hsa_circ_0087207 acts as the sponge of miR-665 to induce the expression of a variety of apoptosis-related genes in LHON patient iPSC-derived RGCs. Conclusions: Our data indicated that hsa_circ_0087207 upregulation distinguishes the disease phenotype manifestations between iPSC-derived RGCs generated from the LHON patient and carrier. Targeting the hsa_circ_0087207/miR-665 axis might hold therapeutic promises for the treatment of LHON.


Ministry of Science and Technology

Taipei Veterans General Hospital

Yen Tjing Ling Medical Foundation




General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology,Medicine (miscellaneous)

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