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JST Press Release

November 10, 2015
Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST)
5-3, Yonbancho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-8666

Efficient protein synthesis in living cultured human cells using circular mRNA as the template

Recent studies have shown that circular RNAs composed of exonic sequences are abundant in human cells. However, whether these circular RNAs can be translated into proteins within cells remains unclear. In this study, we prepared circular RNAs with an infinite open reading frame and tested their translation in eukaryotic systems. Circular RNA was well translated into long proteins in HeLa cells in the absence of any particular element for internal ribosome entry, a poly-A tail, or a cap structure. These findings suggest that translation of exonic circular RNAs present in human cells is more probable than previously thought.

Researcher Information

Research Area “Development and function of neural network”
Research Theme “Development of fluorogenic probe imaging of RNA related to synaptic plasticity”

Journal Information

Naoko Abe, Ken Matsumoto, Mizuki Nishihara, Yukiko Nakano, Aya Shibata, Hideto Maruyama, Satoshi Shuto, Akira Matsuda, Minoru Yoshida, Yoshihiro Ito & Hiroshi Abe. “Rolling Circle Translation of Circular RNA in Living Human Cells”. Scientific Reports, Published online 10 November 2015, doi: 10.1038/srep16435.


[About Research]
Hiroshi Abe, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Chemistry, Graduate School of Science, Nagoya University
URL: http://biochemistry.chem.nagoya-u.ac.jp/

[About Program]
Tetsu Kawaguchi
Life Innovation Group, Department of Innovation Research, JST


JST, an integrated organization of science and technology in Japan, establishes an infrastructure for the entire process from the creation of knowledge to the return to the society. For more information, visit http://www.jst.go.jp/EN/