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    Circular RNAs (circRNAs), a novel class of poorly conserved non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression, are highly enriched in the human brain. Despite increasing discoveries of circRNA function in human neurons, the circRNA landscape and function in developing human oligodendroglia, the myelinating cells that govern neuronal conductance, remains unexplored. Meanwhile, improved experimental and computational tools for the accurate identification of circRNAs are needed. We adopt a published experimental approach for circRNA enrichment and develop CARP (CircRNA identification using A-tailing RNase R approach and Pseudo-reference alignment), a comprehensive 21-module computational framework for accurate circRNA identification and quantification. Using CARP, we identify developmentally programmed human oligodendroglia circRNA landscapes in the HOG oligodendroglioma cell line, distinct from neuronal circRNA landscapes. Numerous circRNAs display oligodendroglia-specific regulation upon differentiation, among which a subclass is regulated independently from their parental mRNAs. We find that circRNA flanking introns often contain cis-regulatory elements for RNA editing and are predicted to bind differentiation-regulated splicing factors. In addition, we discover novel oligodendroglia-specific circRNAs that are predicted to sponge microRNAs, which co-operatively promote oligodendroglia development. Furthermore, we identify circRNA clusters derived from differentiation-regulated alternative circularization events within the same gene, each containing a common circular exon, achieving additive sponging effects that promote human oligodendroglia differentiation. Our results reveal dynamic regulation of human oligodendroglia circRNA landscapes during early differentiation and suggest critical roles of the circRNA-miRNA-mRNA axis in advancing human oligodendroglia development. © 2022. The Author(s).


    Yangping Li, Feng Wang, Peng Teng, Li Ku, Li Chen, Yue Feng, Bing Yao. Accurate identification of circRNA landscape and complexity reveals their pivotal roles in human oligodendroglia differentiation. Genome biology. 2022 Feb 07;23(1):48

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    PMID: 35130952

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