Mis-splicing yields circular RNA molecules

FASEB J. 1993 Jan;7(1):155-60. doi: 10.1096/fasebj.7.1.7678559.


We previously identified novel human ets-1 transcripts in which the normal order of exons is inverted, and demonstrated that although the order of exons is different than in the genomic DNA, splicing of these exons out of order occurs in pairs using genuine splice sites (1). Here we determine the structure of these novel transcripts, showing that they correspond to circular RNA molecules containing only exons in genomic order. These transcripts are stable molecules, localized in the cytoplasmic component of the cells. To our knowledge, this is the first case of circular transcripts being processed from nuclear pre-mRNA in eukaryotes. This new type of transcript might represent a novel aspect of gene expression and hold some interesting clues about the splicing mechanism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Biological Transport
  • Cell Compartmentation
  • Cytoplasm / metabolism
  • Exons / genetics
  • Humans
  • Models, Genetic
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Proto-Oncogene Protein c-ets-1
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / genetics*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-ets
  • Proto-Oncogenes / genetics*
  • RNA / biosynthesis*
  • RNA Precursors / metabolism
  • RNA Splicing*
  • RNA, Circular
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Transcription Factors*


  • ETS1 protein, human
  • Proto-Oncogene Protein c-ets-1
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-ets
  • RNA Precursors
  • RNA, Circular
  • Transcription Factors
  • RNA

Associated data

  • GENBANK/S53284
  • GENBANK/S53286
  • GENBANK/S62031
  • GENBANK/X66042
  • GENBANK/X66043
  • GENBANK/X66045
  • GENBANK/X66046
  • GENBANK/X67167
  • GENBANK/X67840
  • GENBANK/Z18319