Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Circular RNAs more common than previously thought: Unexpected mode of gene expression is surprisingly widespread

Date:
February 1, 2012
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
It may be time to revise this traditional understanding of human gene expression, as new research suggests that circular RNA molecules, rather than the classical linear molecules, are a widespread feature of the gene expression program in every human cell.

In the classical model of gene expression, the genetic script encoded in our genomes is expressed in each cell in the form of RNA molecules, each consisting of a linear string of chemical "bases." It may be time to revise this traditional understanding of human gene expression, as new research suggests that circular RNA molecules, rather than the classical linear molecules, are a widespread feature of the gene expression program in every human cell.

The results are published in the Feb. 1 issue of the online journal PLoS ONE.

A group of researchers working with HHMI investigator and biochemistry professor Patrick Brown, of Stanford University, have discovered hundreds of human gene transcripts that appear to have resulted from a non-canonical program that "splices" the RNA molecules into circles. For many genes, these circular RNAs made up a substantial fraction of all the transcripts identified, suggesting that they are far more abundant and perhaps more important than previously thought. Circular RNAs have heretofore "flown under the radar" because traditional methods for isolating RNA from cells have inadvertently discarded these circular molecules. The exact function of circular RNAs, and potential relevance for human biology or health, if any, remains to be determined, but this study opens up many exciting avenues for further research.

"This research shows that there are still important fundamental biological programs to be discovered by experimental exploration coupled with new statistical and computational approaches," said Julia Salzman, one of the authors of the paper. "These circular RNAs may represent a yet-to-be discovered biological process."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Julia Salzman, Charles Gawad, Peter Lincoln Wang, Norman Lacayo, Patrick O. Brown. Circular RNAs Are the Predominant Transcript Isoform from Hundreds of Human Genes in Diverse Cell Types. PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (2): e30733 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0030733

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Circular RNAs more common than previously thought: Unexpected mode of gene expression is surprisingly widespread." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 February 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120201180614.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2012, February 1). Circular RNAs more common than previously thought: Unexpected mode of gene expression is surprisingly widespread. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120201180614.htm
Public Library of Science. "Circular RNAs more common than previously thought: Unexpected mode of gene expression is surprisingly widespread." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120201180614.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two US Ebola Patients Leave Hospital Free of the Disease

Two US Ebola Patients Leave Hospital Free of the Disease

AFP (Aug. 21, 2014) Two American missionaries who were sickened with Ebola while working in Liberia and were treated with an experimental drug are doing better and have left the hospital, doctors say on August 21, 2014. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) It's unclear whether the American Ebola patients' recoveries can be attributed to an experimental drug or early detection and good medical care. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins