A guide to naming eukaryotic circular RNAs

Nat Cell Biol. 2023 Jan;25(1):1-5. doi: 10.1038/s41556-022-01066-9.


Alternative splicing of eukaryotic transcripts often leads to production of multiple mature RNAs from a single gene locus. In addition to encoding linear RNAs, genes can produce stable circular RNAs (circRNAs) that are often co-expressed with their cognate linear RNAs. Multiple distinct circRNAs are frequently generated from a gene locus via back-splicing, with each mature transcript having a potentially unique function due to its distinct combination of exons and sometimes retained introns. However, names currently given to circRNAs are often ambiguous and lack consistency across studies. Here, we call on the community to embrace standards for naming circRNAs so that a common nomenclature is used to ensure clarity and reproducibility.

MeSH terms

  • Eukaryota* / genetics
  • Eukaryotic Cells
  • RNA / genetics
  • RNA, Circular*


  • RNA, Circular
  • RNA