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Evolutionary dynamics of circular RNAs in primates


Many primate genes produce circular RNAs (circRNAs). However, the extent of circRNA conservation between closely related species remains unclear. By comparing tissue-specific transcriptomes across over 70 million years of primate evolution, we identify that within 3 million years circRNA expression profiles diverged such that they are more related to species identity than organ type. However, our analysis also revealed a subset of circRNAs with conserved neural expression across tens of millions of years of evolution. By comparing to species-specific circRNAs, we identified that the downstream intron of the conserved circRNAs display a dramatic lengthening during evolution due to the insertion of novel retrotransposons. Our work provides comparative analyses of the mechanisms promoting circRNAs to generate increased transcriptomic complexity in primates.

Type Journal
ISBN 2050-084X (Electronic) 2050-084X (Linking)
Authors Santos-Rodriguez, G.; Voineagu, I.; Weatheritt, R. J.
Responsible Garvan Author A/Prof Robert Weatheritt
Publisher Name eLife
Published Date 2021-09-30
Published Volume 10
Status Published in-print
DOI 10.7554/eLife.69148
URL link to publisher's version