YAP Circular RNA, circYap, Attenuates Cardiac Fibrosis via Binding with Tropomyosin-4 and Gamma-Actin Decreasing Actin Polymerization

Wu N., Xu J., Du W. W. , Li X., Awan F. M. , Li F., ...More

MOLECULAR THERAPY, vol.29, no.3, pp.1138-1150, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 29 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.ymthe.2020.12.004
  • Title of Journal : MOLECULAR THERAPY
  • Page Numbers: pp.1138-1150


Cardiac fibrosis is a common pathological feature of cardiac hypertrophy. This study was designed to investigate a novel function of Yes-associated protein (YAP) circular RNA, circYap, in modulating cardiac fibrosis and the underlying mechanisms. By circular RNA sequencing, we found that three out of fifteen reported circYap isoforms were expressed in nine human heart tissues, with the isoform hsa_circ_0002320 being the highest. The levels of this isoform in the hearts of patients with cardiac hypertrophy were found to be significantly decreased. In the pressure overload mouse model, the levels of circYap were reduced in mouse hearts with transverse aortic constriction (TAC). Upon circYap plasmid injection, the cardiac fibrosis was attenuated, and the heart function was improved along with the elevation of cardiac circYap levels in TAC mice. Tropomyosin-4 (TMP4) and gamma-actin (ACTG) were identified to bind with circYap in cardiac cells and mouse heart tissues. Such bindings led to an increased TPM4 interaction with ACTG, resulting in the inhibition of actin polymerization and the following fibrosis. Collectively, our study uncovered a novel molecule that could regulate cardiac remodeling during cardiac fibrosis and implicated a new function of circular RNA. This process may be targeted for future cardio-therapy.