--- - |2- Our research indicates that circRNA ZNF609 (circ‐ZNF609) functions as a competitive endogenous RNA to regulate forkhead box P4 expression by sponging microRNA‐138‐5p has great significance in the pathogenesis of renal carcinoma. Therefore, further study of circRNA may have clinical implications for future diagnosis and treatment of renal carcinoma and other diseases. Abstract Circular RNA (circRNA) play important roles in the pathological processes of many diseases. By analyzing the results of the GSE100186 chip, we found that the expression of circRNA ZNF609 (circ‐ZNF609) was significantly increased in renal cell carcinoma. Recently, there are studies showing that circ‐ZNF609 can regulate cell proliferation and invasion ability of various cells. In this study, we investigated whether circ‐ZNF609 may affect cell invasion and proliferation in renal carcinoma. Quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction was performed to detect the expression of circ‐ZNF609 in renal carcinoma cell lines and renal epithelial cells. The direct interaction between microRNA‐138‐5p (miR‐138‐5p) and forkhead box P4 (FOXP4) or circ‐ZNF609 was confirmed by luciferase reporter assay and RNA immunoprecipitation assay. We use Cell Counting Kit‐8, 5‐ethynyl‐2′‐deoxyuridine, and Matrigel assays to assess the effect of miR‐138‐5p or circ‐ZNF609 on cell proliferation or invasion ability. And we found that circ‐ZNF609 is significantly increased in renal carcinoma cell lines. In addition, the high expression of circ‐ZNF609 promotes cell proliferation and invasion ability. In short, our current study reveals the role of the circ‐ZNF609/miR‐138‐5p/FOXP4 regulatory network in renal carcinoma and provides a new perspective for the pathogenesis of renal carcinoma. - 'Journal of Cellular Physiology, EarlyView. '