The landscape of circular RNA in cancer


Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are an intriguing class of RNA due to their covalently closed structure, high stability, and implicated roles in gene regulation. MCTP researchers used an exome capture RNA sequencing protocol to detect and characterize circRNAs across >2,000 cancer samples. Using capture sequencing, they built the most comprehensive catalogue of circRNA species to date: MiOncoCirc, the first database to be composed primarily of circRNAs directly detected in tumor tissues. Using MiOncoCirc, they identified candidate circRNAs to serve as biomarkers for prostate cancer and were able to detect circRNAs in urine. Further, a novel class of circular transcripts, termed read-through circRNAs, that involved exons originating from different genes were detected. MiOncoCirc will serve as a valuable resource for the development of circRNAs as diagnostic or therapeutic targets across cancer types.This study was published in Cell.

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