University of Cambridge > > Babraham Seminar > Circular RNAs and their molecular roles in myogenesis and in rhabdomyosarcoma

Circular RNAs and their molecular roles in myogenesis and in rhabdomyosarcoma

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Circular RNAs are covalently closed RNA molecules, ubiquitously expressed among eukaryotes. Their conservation among different species, spatio-temporal regulation and abundance suggest important biological roles. We previously identified several circular RNAs modulated during human myogenesis. Among them, circ-ZNF609 has a role in regulating primary myoblasts proliferation. To better investigate circ-ZNF609’s functions, we studied it in rhabdomyosarcoma, a paediatric skeletal muscle malignancy. We found that circ-ZNF609 is up-regulated in cell lines and in tissue biopsies of the tumour, and that its knock-down strongly delays the G1-S transition. Thanks to bioinformatics analyses performed on RNA -seq data from circ-ZNF609-depleted RMS cells and to the study of its molecular partners, we elucidated some of the affected pathways. Since we are interested in discovering other new players in RMS onset and progression, we selected a subset of circular RNAs differentially expressed among human primary myoblasts and RMS cells. Thanks to a phenotypic screening, we aim at characterizing their roles in this disease.

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