An intriguing RNA species—perspectives of circularized RNA

Ting Shen, Miao Han, Gang Wei, Ting Ni
2015 Protein & Cell  
Circular RNAs (circRNAs), a kind of covalently closed RNA molecule, were used to be considered a type of byproducts of mis-splicing events and were discovered sporadically due to the technological limits in the early years. With the great technological progress such as high-throughput next-generation sequencing, numerous circRNAs have recently been detected in many species. CircRNAs were expressed in a spatio-temporally specific manner, suggesting their regulatory functional potentials were
more » ... looked previously. Intriguingly, some circRNAs were indeed found with critical physiological functions in certain circumstances. CircRNAs have a more stable molecular structure that can resist to exoribonuclease comparing to those linear ones, and their molecular functions include microRNA sponge, regulatory roles in transcription, mRNA traps that compete with linear splicing, templates for translation and possibly other presently unknown roles. Here, we review the discovery and characterization of circRNAs, the origination and formation mechanism, the physiological functions and the molecular roles, along with the methods for detection of circRNAs. We further look into the future and propose key questions to be answered for these magical RNA molecules.
doi:10.1007/s13238-015-0202-0 pmid:26349458 pmcid:PMC4656206 fatcat:npo2ph2rdvgh5gao3p3lmnofuu