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.
Research Area “Development and function of neural network”
Research Theme “Development of fluorogenic probe imaging of RNA related to synaptic plasticity”
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.
Hiroshi Abe, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Chemistry, Graduate School of Science, Nagoya University
Life Innovation Group, Department of Innovation Research, JST