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 April 18, 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 April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. 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