Background/Aims: Circular RNAs (circRNAs), a new class of regulators of gene expression, are involved in diverse physiological and pathogenic processes. However, their role in cellular responses to virus infection is yet unclear. Methods: A human lung fibroblast cell line was infected or mock infected by herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1). Deep RNA sequencing was used to profile the global changes in circRNAs, genes, and miRNAs following HSV-1 infection. Altered circRNAs, genes, and miRNAs were validated using quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR). An integration analysis of circRNAs, genes, and miRNAs was applied to investigate the putative function of the dysregulated circRNAs. Results: A total of 536 circRNAs, 3,885 genes, and 207 miRNAs were significantly dysregulated after HSV-1 infection. An integration analysis of circRNAs, genes, and miRNAs revealed the alleged involvement of dysregulated circRNAs in cellular responses to HSV-1 infection via the circRNA-miRNA-gene regulatory axis. These genes regulated by circRNAs were enriched to NOD-like receptor/JAK-STAT signaling pathway, and pathways of apoptosis, cell cycle progression, and cell death, all of which may be implicated in the viral pathogenesis and cellular immunity. Conclusions: These data present a comprehensive view for circRNAs induced by HSV-1 and their interplay with miRNAs and genes during HSV-1 infection, thus offering new insights into the mechanisms of interactions between HSV-1 and the host.

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