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N6 -methyladenosine-modified circRNA RERE modulates osteoarthritis by regulating β-catenin ubiquitination and degradation

Liu Y, Yang Y, Lin Y, Wei B, Hu X, Xu L, Zhang W, Lu J
Cell Prolif. 2022 Jun 22:e13297. doi: 10.1111/cpr.13297. Online ahead of print
Objectives: N6 -methyladenosine (m6A) is one of the most abundant internal RNA modifications. We investigated the role of m6A-modified circRERE in osteoarthritis (OA) and its mechanism. Materials and methods: CircRERE and IRF2BPL were screened by microarrays. The role of m6A-modification in circRERE was examined by methylated RNA precipitation and morpholino oligo (MOs) treatment. The axis of circRERE/miR-195-5p/IRF2BPL/β-catenin was determined using flow cytometry, western blotting and immunofluorescence in human chondrocytes (HCs) and corroborated using a mouse model of destabilization of medial meniscus (DMM) with intra-articular (IA) injection of adeno-associated viruses (AAV). Results: CircRERE was decreased in OA cartilage and chondrocytes compared with control. CircRERE downregulation was likely attributed to its increased m6A modification prone to endoribonucleolytic cleavage by YTHDF2-HRSP12-RNase P/MRP in OA chondrocytes. MOs transfection targeting HRSP12 binding motifs in circRERE partially reversed decreased circRERE expression and increased apoptosis in HCs treated with IL-1β for 6 h. CircRERE exerted chondroprotective effects by targeting miR-195-5p/IRF2BPL, thus regulating the ubiquitination and degradation of β-catenin. CircRere (mouse homologue) overexpression by IA-injection of AAV-circRere into mice attenuated the severity of DMM-induced OA, whereas AAV-miR-195a-5p or AAV-sh-Irf2bpl reduced the protective effects. The detrimental effects of AAV-sh-Irf2bpl on DMM-induced OA were substantially counteracted by ICG-001, an inhibitor of β-catenin. Conclusions: Our study is a proof-of-concept demonstration for targeting m6A-modified circRERE and its target miR-195-5p/IRF2BPL/β-catenin as potential therapeutic strategies for OA treatment.
Organism or Cell Type: 
cell culture: primary human chondrocytes, mice
Delivery Method: 
Endo-Porter, Vivo-Morpholino