Rat BodyMap transcriptomes reveal unique circular RNA features across tissue types and developmental stages

Tong Zhou, Xueying Xie, Musheng Li, Junchao Shi, Jin Zhou, Kenneth S Knox, Ting Wang, Qi Chen, Wanjun Gu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are a novel class of regulatory RNAs. Here, we present a comprehensive investigation of circRNA expression profiles across 11 tissues and four developmental stages in rats, along with cross-species analyses in humans and mice. Although the expression of circRNAs is positively correlated with that of cognate mRNAs, highly expressed genes tend to splice a larger fraction of circular transcripts. Moreover, circRNAs exhibit higher tissue specificity than cognate mRNAs. Intriguingly, while we observed a monotonic increase of circRNA abundance with age in the rat brain, we further discovered a dynamic, age-dependent pattern of circRNA expression in the testes that is characterized by a dramatic increase with advancing stages of sexual maturity and a decrease with aging. The age-sensitive testicular circRNAs are highly associated with spermatogenesis, independent of cognate mRNA expression. The tissue/age implications of circRNAs suggest that they present unique physiological functions rather than simply occurring as occasional by-products of gene transcription.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1443-1456
Number of pages14
JournalRNA (New York, N.Y.)
Volume24
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018

Keywords

  • age-dependent expression
  • circRNA expression
  • testis function
  • tissue specificity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology

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