Circular RNAs in the Brain: A Possible Role in Memory?

Neuroscientist. 2021 Oct;27(5):473-486. doi: 10.1177/1073858420963028. Epub 2020 Oct 9.


Higher-order organisms possess information processing capabilities that are only made possible by their biological complexity. Emerging evidence indicates a critical role for regulatory RNAs in coordinating many aspects of cellular function that are directly involved in experience-dependent neural plasticity. Here, we focus on a structurally distinct class of RNAs known as circular RNAs. These closed loop, single-stranded RNA molecules are highly stable, enriched in the brain, and functionally active in both healthy and disease conditions. Current evidence implicating this ancient class of RNA as a contributor toward higher-order functions such as cognition and memory is discussed.

Keywords: RNA transfer; circRNA; learning; memory; synapse; translation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brain
  • Humans
  • RNA*
  • RNA, Circular*


  • RNA, Circular
  • RNA