Circular RNAs throw genetics for a loop

The following is an excerpt.

Behold the latest curio in the cabinet of RNA oddities: naturally occurring circular RNA molecules that influence gene expression.

At least some of the loops, described in two papers published this week by Nature12, act as molecular ‘sponges’, binding to and blocking tiny gene modulators called microRNAs. But the researchers suspect that the circular RNAs have many other functions. The molecules comprise “a hidden, parallel universe” of unexplored RNAs, says Nikolaus Rajewsky, the lead author of one of the studies and a systems biologist at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin.

View the original article here: Circular RNAs throw genetics for a loop

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