Fundamental Research Division
The DRF at the CEA assemble approximately 6,000 scientists since January 2016.
Scientific result | Epigenetics | Vegetal physiology
Researchers from the BIG have revealed the functions of specific RNAs that intervene during protein production. These circular molecules have more than one trick in their bag.
A team from the BIG recently identified several non-coding RNAs that have a circular shape, in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. "These non-coding RNAs present themselves in the form of long-lived circular RNA molecules", explains Chloé Zubieta, a researcher at the BIG. "We stimulated the SEPALLATA3 gene, essential for flowering and the development of floral organs, to produce more of a kind of circular RNA, in order to discover its function. It turns out that it is capable of modifying the levels of messenger RNA from the parental gene. Also, the overexpression of this circular RNA gave rise to a floral phenotype that increased the number of petals and decreased the number of stamens in the flower Arabidopsis thaliana."
For the first time, a scientific work shows that circular RNAs can play an essential role in the development of an organism, and suggests that they are regulators of new and powerful genes that previously went unnoticed. These RNAs are not only important in plants, but are key regulators in mammals, as well as in diseases such as cancer. This work opens up new avenues of investigation in gene regulation and alternative splicing, with applications ranging from basic research to targeted therapies.
A circRNA from SEPALLATA3 regulates splicing of its cognate mRNA through R-loop formation | Nature plants
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