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Cancer; neurology

MicroRNA-7 (miR-7); cerebellar degeneration-related protein 1
(ciRS-7; CDR1as)

In silico and cell culture studies suggest inhibiting the circular RNA ciRS-7 upregulates miR-7 expression, which could help treat cancer or neurological diseases. MiR-7 was previously proposed as a therapeutic for various diseases including cancer. A computational analysis of RNA sequencing data from a human cell line predicted the existence of about 2,000 circular RNA transcripts including ciRS-7, which contains multiple binding sites for miR-7. In cell culture, small interfering RNA against ciRS-7 increased the expression of miR-7 target genes compared with control siRNA. Next steps include screens and functional characterization of circular RNAs in disease.
MiReven Pty. Ltd. has miR-7 derivatives in preclinical development to treat cancer (see Squaring the RNA circle, page 1).

SciBX 6(10); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.245
Published online March 14, 2013

Patent and licensing status undisclosed for findings in first study

Patent application filed for findings in second study; available for licensing

Memczak, S. et al. Nature;
published online Feb. 27, 2013;
Contact: Nikolaus Rajewsky,
Max Delbruck Center for Molecular Medicine, Berlin, Germany

Hansen, T.B. et al. Nature;
published online Feb. 27, 2013;
Contact: Jørgen Kjems, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark
Contact: Thomas B. Hansen,
same affiliation as above