CircularRNAs- new molecules with mysterious functions

While in plants and animals all RNAs which serve as messenger RNAs to translate DNA into protein are linear molecules, a few years ago we and other labs showed that human/animal cells also express thousands of circular RNAs (“circRNAs”). The circular form makes circRNAs resistant to enzymes which in cells normally attack the free ends of linear RNAs to degrade them. Therefore, circRNAs are much more stable than linear RNAs are thus may serve unusual biological functions. Very fresh data indicate that circRNAs can also be powerful, entirely new biomarkers. We now know that circRNAs are produced by specific, context-dependent splice reactions which can lead to high expression of circRNAs in mostly neural or muscle tissues. In my lecture, I will present biochemical and computational methods to identify, quantify, image, and perturb circRNAs expression. I will also discuss what we currently understand about circRNA biogenesis and functions.  14 april, 16.00 pm  Aula Magna Anatomia

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