Prof. Jiali Li's Lab: CircGRIA1 shows an age-related increase in male macaque brain and regulates synaptic plasticity and synaptogenesis




Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brain and some show age-dependent expression patterns. Here, we report that circGRIA1, a conserved circRNA isoform derived from the genomic loci of α-mino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid (AMPA) receptor subunit Gria1, shows an age-related and male-specific increase in expression in the rhesus macaque prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. We show circGRIA1 is predominantly localized to the nucleus, and find an age-related increase in its association with the promoter region of Gria1 gene, suggesting it has a regulatory role in Gria1 transcription. In vitro and in vivo manipulation of circGRIA1 negatively regulates Gria1 mRNA and protein levels. Knockdown of circGRIA1 results in an age-related improvement of synaptogenesis, and GluR1 activity-dependent synaptic plasticity in the hippocampal neurons in males. Our findings underscore the importance of circRNA regulation and offer an insight into the biology of brain aging.


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