Background: Increasing evidence has indicated that circular RNAs (circRNAs) play vital roles in modulating tumor progression. However, regulatory roles and underlying mechanisms of circRNA circ_0072995 in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) are not well characterized.

Results: Circ_0072995 was up regulated in EOC afflicted tissues and cell lines (HO8910 and A2780), and was mainly located in the cytoplasm. The expression of circ_0072995 was associated with the pathological grade of EOC for respective patients. Functional experiments revealed that circ_0072995 promoted EOC cell proliferation, migration, induced apoptosis, as well as enhanced tumorigenesis in vivo. Mechanistic analyses indicated that circ_0072995 may have acted as a sponge of miR-147a such as to relieve repressive effects of miR-147a upon its target CDK6.

Conclusions: Our results revealed that circ_0072995 promoted EOC progression through the circ_0072995/miR-147a/CDK6 axis and may represent a strategy for treatment of EOC afflicted patients.

Methods: Expression of circ_0072995 was evaluated in 40 EOC tissue samples and cell lines by qRT-PCR. The location of circ_0072995 was determined via nuclear-cytoplasmic fractionation. A series of functional experiments facilitated determinations of effects of circ_0072995 on EOC progression in vitro, and in vivo. Underlying mechanisms and influence of circ_0072995 on EOC were confirmed by bioinformatic analyses, luciferase reporter assays, qRT-PCR, and Western blotting.