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Authors: You, Xintian and Vlatkovic, Irena and Babic, Ana and Will, Tristan and Epstein, Irina and Tushev, Georgi and Akbalik, Güney and Wang, Mantian and Glock, Caspar and Quedenau, Claudia and Wang, Xi and Hou, Jingyi and Liu, Hongyu and Sun, Wei and Sambandan, Sivakumar and Chen, Tao and Schuman, Erin M and Chen, Wei

Circular RNAs (circRNAs) have re-emerged as an interesting RNA species. Using deep RNA profiling in different mouse tissues, we observed that circRNAs were substantially enriched in brain and a disproportionate fraction of them were derived from host genes that encode synaptic proteins. Moreover, on the basis of separate profiling of the RNAs localized in neuronal cell bodies and neuropil, circRNAs were, on average, more enriched in the neuropil than their host gene mRNA isoforms. Using high-resolution in situ hybridization, we visualized circRNA punctae in the dendrites of neurons. Consistent with the idea that circRNAs might regulate synaptic function during development, many circRNAs changed their abundance abruptly at a time corresponding to synaptogenesis. In addition, following a homeostatic downscaling of neuronal activity many circRNAs exhibited substantial up- or downregulation. Together, our data indicate that brain circRNAs are positioned to respond to and regulate synaptic function.

Journal: Nature neuroscience
DOI: 10.1038/nn.3975
Year: 2015

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