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Weigelt, C.M., Sehgal, R., Tain, L.S., Cheng, J., Eßer, J., Pahl, A., Dieterich, C., Grönke, S., Partridge, L. (2020). An Insulin-Sensitive Circular RNA that Regulates Lifespan in Drosophila.  Mol. Cell 79(2): 268--279.e5.
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Research paper

Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant and accumulate with age in neurons of diverse species. However, only few circRNAs have been functionally characterized, and their role during aging has not been addressed. Here, we use transcriptome profiling during aging and find that accumulation of circRNAs is slowed down in long-lived insulin mutant flies. Next, we characterize the in vivo function of a circRNA generated by the sulfateless gene (circSfl), which is consistently upregulated, particularly in the brain and muscle, of diverse long-lived insulin mutants. Strikingly, lifespan extension of insulin mutants is dependent on circSfl, and overexpression of circSfl alone is sufficient to extend the lifespan. Moreover, circSfl is translated into a protein that shares the N terminus and potentially some functions with the full-length Sfl protein encoded by the host gene. Our study demonstrates that insulin signaling affects global circRNA accumulation and reveals an important role of circSfl during aging in vivo.

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PubMed Central ID
PMC7318944 (PMC) (EuropePMC)
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CircRNAs in lifespan.
Baumann, 2020, Nat. Rev. Mol. Cell Biol. 21(8): 420 [FBrf0247104]

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    Publication Type
    Mol. Cell
    Molecular Cell
    Publication Year
    1097-2765 1097-4164
    Data From Reference
    Aberrations (1)
    Alleles (32)
    Genes (12)
    Natural transposons (1)
    Insertions (15)
    Experimental Tools (3)
    Transgenic Constructs (27)