Identification and Characterization of Circular RNAs As a New Class of Putative Biomarkers in Human Blood
Sebastian Memczak , Panagiotis Papavasileiou , Oliver Peters, Nikolaus Rajewsky
Published: October 20, 2015 http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0141214
Covalently closed circular RNA molecules (circRNAs) have recently emerged as a class of RNA isoforms with widespread and tissue specific expression across animals, oftentimes independent of the corresponding linear mRNAs. circRNAs are remarkably stable and sometimes highly expressed molecules. Here, we sequenced RNA in human peripheral whole blood to determine the potential of circRNAs as biomarkers in an easily accessible body fluid. We report the reproducible detection of thousands of circRNAs. Importantly, we observed that hundreds of circRNAs are much higher expressed than corresponding linear mRNAs. Thus, circRNA expression in human blood reveals and quantifies the activity of hundreds of coding genes not accessible by classical mRNA specific assays. Our findings suggest that circRNAs could be used as biomarker molecules in standard clinical blood samples.
Citation: Memczak S, Papavasileiou P, Peters O, Rajewsky N (2015) Identification and Characterization of Circular RNAs As a New Class of Putative Biomarkers in Human Blood. PLoS ONE 10(10): e0141214. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0141214
Editor: Sebastien Pfeffer, French National Center for Scientific Research - Institut de biologie moléculaire et cellulaire, FRANCE
Received: September 3, 2015; Accepted: October 5, 2015; Published: October 20, 2015
Copyright: © 2015 Memczak et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited
Data Availability: Sequencing data have been deposited at NCBI GEO under accession number GSE73570.
Funding: SM was supported by the grant DFG RA 838/7-1, PP was supported by the NYU/MDC Exchange Program, OP and NR were supported by the grant BIH CRG 2a TP7.
Competing interests: The authors NR, SM, and PP filed a patent (patent EP15187446) covering the use of blood circular RNAs as biomarkers in neurological diseases. This did not alter the authors' adherence to PLOS ONE policies on sharing data and materials.
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