Circular RNA: Functions, Applications and Prospects

A special issue of Genes (ISSN 2073-4425). This special issue belongs to the section "RNA".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 March 2022) | Viewed by 2643

Special Issue Editors

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Guest Editor
Department of Molecular Medicine, University of Padova, Padua, Italy
Interests: cancer genomics and transcriptomics; bioinformatics; systems biology; microRNAs; circular RNAs
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Maternal and Child Health, Università degli Studi di Padova, Padua, Italy
Interests: leukemia; pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia; circular RNA

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are a large class of molecules whose biogenesis and pleiotropic functions spark interest in several biological and medical fields. CircRNAs are covalently closed RNA loops generated by backsplicing and are produced by most eukaryotic genes. They were proven to be more stable than linear transcripts, evolutionary conserved and expressed with cell and developmental stage specificity.

Most importantly, circRNAs have regulatory roles and can drive disease and cancer, with different mechanisms. They control key regulatory axes by regulating gene expression at transcriptional and at post-transcriptional level, by decoying microRNAs. CircRNAs also modulate the function RNA-binding proteins, a broad class of peptides with extremely diverse cellular roles. Of high interest, recent studies indicate that some circRNAs are effectively translated into detectable peptides with biological functions.

The quest for their oncogenic or tumor suppressor functions has linked circRNAs to different cancer hallmarks and cancer-related mechanisms. Plasmatic and exosomal circRNAs are under close scrutiny for their potential as biomarkers and their roles in paracrine circuits, with important implications also in tumour dissemination.

This Special Issue in Genes on “Circular RNA: functions, applications and prospects” addresses the new discoveries about circRNAs functions in all the biological fields and about the present and future translational opportunities offered by circRNAs.

We welcome the submission of original studies presenting new data about circRNAs functions and new methods to elucidate the biological roles of these fascinating molecules, as well as seminal literature reviews and perspectives about the most relevant applications of the growing knowledge of circRNA biology.

Prof. Dr. Stefania Bortoluzzi
Prof. Dr. Silvia Bresolin
Guest Editors

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  • circular RNA
  • regulatory axes
  • coding circular RNAs
  • circRNA-protein interactions
  • functional studies
  • therapeutic applications
  • biomarkers
  • circulating circular RNAs

Published Papers (1 paper)

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12 pages, 3563 KiB  
Expression Characteristics in Roots, Phloem, Leaves, Flowers and Fruits of Apple circRNA
by Dajiang Wang, Yuan Gao, Simiao Sun, Lianwen Li and Kun Wang
Genes 2022, 13(4), 712; - 18 Apr 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1987
Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are covalently closed non-coding RNAs that play pivotal roles in various biological processes. However, circRNAs’ roles in different tissues of apple are currently unknown. A total of 6495 unique circRNAs were identified from roots, phloem, leaves, flowers and fruits; 65.99% [...] Read more.
Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are covalently closed non-coding RNAs that play pivotal roles in various biological processes. However, circRNAs’ roles in different tissues of apple are currently unknown. A total of 6495 unique circRNAs were identified from roots, phloem, leaves, flowers and fruits; 65.99% of them were intergenic circRNAs. Similar to other plants, tissue-specific expression was also observed for apple circRNAs; only 175 (2.69%) circRNAs were prevalently expressed in all five different tissues, while 1256, 1064, 912, 904 and 1080 circRNAs were expressed only in roots, phloem, leaves, flowers and fruit, respectively. The hosting-genes of circRNAs showed significant differences enriched in COG, GO terms or KEGG pathways in five tissues, suggesting the special functions of circRNAs in different tissues. Potential binding interactions between circRNAs and miRNAs were investigated using TargetFinder; 2989 interactions between 647 circRNAs and 192 miRNA were predicated in the present study. It also predicted that Chr00:18744403|18744580-mdm-miR160 might play an important role in the formation of flowers or in regulating the coloration of flowers, Chr10:6857496|6858910–mdm-miR168 might be involved in response to drought stress in roots, and Chr03:1226434|1277176 may absorb mdm-miR482a-3p and play a major role in disease resistance. Two circRNAs were experimentally analyzed by qRT-PCR with divergent primers, the expression levels were consistent with RNA-seq, which indicates that the RNA-seq datasets were reliable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Circular RNA: Functions, Applications and Prospects)
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