Figure 5. Circ-PWWP2A promotes activation and proliferation of HSCs via regulating miR-203 and miR-223. (A) LX-2 cells were transfected with Ad-circ-PWWP2A or co-transfected with miR-203+223 mimic. The protein expression of α-SMA and Col1α1 and cell viability were detected using western blot analysis and CCK-8 assay, respectively. (B) LX-2 cells were transfected with si-circ-PWWP2A or co-transfected with miR-203+223 inhibitor followed by TGF-β- or LPS-activation. The protein expression of α-SMA and Col1α1 and cell viability were detected. **p<0.01 vs Ad-GFP or negative control; ##p<0.01 vs Ad-circ-PWWP2A+mimic NC, TGF-β+si-control, or LPS+si-control; &p<0.05 vs TGF-β+si-control+si-circ-PWWP2A+NC or LPS+si-control+si-circ-PWWP2A+NC. Ad-GFP, adenoviral vectors carrying green fluorescent protein genes that act as the control. CCK-8, cell counting kit-8. si-circ-PWWP2A, small interfering RNA of circ-PWWP2A. NC, negative control.