Background: Glioma is one of the most wide-spreading brain cancers worldwide. Exosomes have emerged as essential regulators in intercellular communication, and exosomal circular RNAs (circRNAs) are critical for cancer progression. In this study, we aimed to investigate the role of exosomal circRNAs in glioma progression and associated mechanisms.

Methods: Exosomes derived from glioma cells were isolated and identified by transmission electron microscopy and nanoparticle tracking analysis (NTA). CCK-8, wound healing assays, transwell invasion assays, and flow cytometry assays were performed to assess glioma progression. RNA sequencing, RT-qPCR, western blotting, fluorescence in situ hybridization assay, luciferase assays, and cell transfection assay were performed to investigate related molecular mechanisms.

Results: The results demonstrated that exosomes derived from glioma cells promoted glioma progression. Also, exosomal circRNA 0001445 was taken up and upregulated in glioma cells treated with exosomes. In addition, exosomal circRNA 0001445 acted as a sponge for miRNA-127-5p to upregulate the expression of sorting nexin 5 (SNX5). Lastly, the effect of exosomal circRNA 0001445 was mediated by miRNA-127-5p/ SNX5 signaling pathway.

Conclusion: These results demonstrated that exosomal circRNA 0001445 promoted glioma progression through miRNA-127-5p/SNX5 signaling pathway. This study provides a novel understanding of the molecular mechanism of glioma progression.