Circular RNA Profiling Reveals an Abundant circEch1 That Promotes Myogenesis and Differentiation of Bovine Skeletal Muscle
Beef is considered to be a good quality meat product because it contains linoleic acid and specific proteins, which can bring significant benefits to health. Circular RNAs (circRNAs) have been reported to regulate skeletal myogenesis. RNA-seq was used to investigate the circRNA molecular regulatory mechanisms with respect to differences in muscle quality between buffalo and cattle. A total of 10,449 circRNA candidates were detected, and 1128 of these were found to be differentially expressed between cattle and buffalo muscle tissue libraries. Differentially expressed 23 circRNAs were verified by qPCR. CircEch1, one of the most up-regulated circRNAs during muscle development, was subsequently characterized. CCK-8 (65.05 ± 2.33%, P < 0.0001), EdU (72.99 ± 0.04%, P < 0.001), and Western blotting assays showed that overexpression of circEch1 inhibited the proliferation of bovine myoblasts but promoted differentiation. In vivo studies suggested that circEch1 stimulates skeletal muscle regeneration. These results demonstrate that the novel regulator circEch1 induces myoblast differentiation and skeletal muscle regeneration. They also provide new insights into the mechanisms of circRNA regulation of beef quality.
Keywords: buffalo; cattle; circEch1; differentiation; myogenesis.