Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are a class of non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression by acting as competitive endogenous RNAs (ceRNAs) and modulating gene transcription. Several studies support the implication of circRNAs in a variety of human diseases, but research on the role of circRNAs in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is lacking. In a study recently published in Clinical Science (2018), Zhang et al. identified hsa_circ_0012919 as a potential biomarker of disease activity in SLE patients. The authors observed different circRNA expression between SLE patients and healthy controls, an association with clinical variables and with the abnormal DNA methylation present in SLE CD4+ T cells. Finally, Zhang et al. demonstrated that hsa_circ_0012919 acts as a miRNA sponge for miR-125a-3p, regulating the gene expression of targets RANTES and KLF13 that are involved in the physiology and pathophysiology of acute and chronic inflammatory processes. These findings support the role of circRNAs in the pathophysiology of SLE.

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