Research Paper Volume 12, Issue 4 pp 3354—3370

Cancer stem cell-specific expression profiles reveal emerging bladder cancer biomarkers and identify circRNA_103809 as an important regulator in bladder cancer

Tao Tao1,2, *, , Simin Yuan1,3, *, , Jinjian Liu4, *, , Da Shi5, , Mian Peng6, , Chong Li1,2,7, , Song Wu1,4,5, ,

  • 1 Department of Urology, The 3rd Affiliated Hospital of Shenzhen University, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518000, China
  • 2 Core Facility for Protein Research, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
  • 3 Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou 510000, China
  • 4 Medical College, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518000, China
  • 5 Medical College, Anhui University of Science and Technology, Huainan 232001, China
  • 6 Department of Critical Care Medicine, The 3rd Affiliated Hospital of Shenzhen University, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518000, China
  • 7 Beijing Jianlan Institute of Medicine, Beijing 100190, China
* Equal contribution and joint first authors

Received: October 2, 2019       Accepted: January 27, 2020       Published: February 17, 2020
How to Cite

Copyright © 2020 Tao et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Bladder cancer stem cells (BCSCs), exhibiting self-renewal and differentiation capacities, may contribute to the tumor initiation, metastasis, recurrence and drug resistance of bladder cancer. However, the underlying functional mechanisms of BCSCs remain to be clarified. In this study, we describe the differentially-expressed mRNAs, lncRNAs, and circRNAs in BCSCs compared with that in bladder cancer non-stem cells (BCNSCs) through the transcriptome microarray data analysis using bladder cancer patients’ specimens. CircRNA_103809, the top one among the highly expressed circRNA identified in BCSCs, promotes the self-renewal, migration and invasion capabilities of bladder cancer by acting as a miR-511 sponge. Additionally, GO and KEGG pathway analysis suggest the differentially expressed genes identified may be involved in the cellular metabolism, differentiation and metastasis regulation of the cancer cells. Co-expression networks of lncRNAs/mRNAs and circRNAs/mRNAs constructed by WGCNA give a picture of the non-coding/coding RNAs regulating patterns in BCSCs. Notably, as core genes in the networks, AHCY, C6orf136 and LRIG1 show high potential to be prognosticators for bladder cancer. Therefore, further studies of non-coding RNA functional mechanisms in BCSCs is valuable for detecting the pathogenic mechanisms and discovering novel biomarkers in bladder cancer.


BC: Bladder cancer; BCSC: Bladder cancer stem cell; BCNSC: Bladder cancer non-stem cell; BP: Biological process; circRNA: Circular RNA; GO: Gene ontology; KEGG: Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes; lncRNA: Long non-coding RNA; MF: Molecular function; qRT-PCR: Quantitative real-time polymerase chain frequency; WGCNA: Weighted Correlation Network analysis.