Tuberculosis (TB) treatment is plagued by liver damage, which often leads to treatment interruptions. Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are a special class of non-coding RNAs abundant in body fluids with important biological functions. However, the role of circRNA in anti-tuberculosis drug-induced liver injury (ADLI) is unclear. We explored ADLI-specific circRNAs in TB patients using circRNA microarrays and verified circMARS in a cohort of 300 individuals. In addition to the value assessment of circMARS in patients using a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve, cell experiments were also performed under the guidance of bioinformatics analyses. In particular, we found that circMARS acts as a miRNA sponge by binding to miRNAs. Compared with the blank group, the expressions of circMARS, KMT2C gene, and EGFR protein in the ADLI group were increased, while miR-6808-5p, miR-6874-3p, and miR-3157-5p were decreased. Furthermore, when si-circMARS was used in the ADLI groups, circMARS demotion manifested the opposite results. Subsequently, a self-controlled cohort of 35 participants was used to verify the circMARS-miR-6808-5p/-6874-3p/-3157-5p-KMT2C-EGFR function axis. Therefore, circMARS may participate in the compensatory repair mechanism of ADLI through the function axis, and may be a potential biomarker for ADLI diagnosis in TB patients.
© 2022 The Authors. Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine published by Foundation for Cellular and Molecular Medicine and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.