The landscape of circRNA expression in the human brain

Gokool et al. (2019). The landscape of circRNA expression in the human brain. 

Abstract

Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are enriched in the mammalian brain and are upregulated in response to neuronal differentiation and depolarisation. These RNA molecules, formed by non-canonical back-splicing, have both regulatory and translational potential. Here, we carried out an extensive characterisation of circRNA expression in the human brain, in nearly two-hundred human brain samples, from both healthy individuals and autism cases. We identify hundreds of novel circRNAs, characterise inter-individual variability of circRNA expression in the human brain, and identify brain region-specific circRNAs. We demonstrate that similarly to mRNAs, circRNA isoforms are not expressed stochastically, but rather as major isoforms, supporting their regulated expression in the human brain. We also find that circRNA expression is dynamic during brain development, decreasing with cellular maturation in brain organoids, but remains stable across the adult lifespan. These data provide a comprehensive catalogue of circRNAs and a deeper insight into their expression in the human brain.

Data access and visualisation

circRNA expression data is available in a browsable format with two options:

1. Genome browser display of circRNA coordinates, with mean expression values.

2. Genome  browser display of circRNA coordinates, with expression values of individual samples.

 

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