ofactor Genomics has been awarded a grant by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), an institute of the NIH, to develop a standardized enrichment kit and define the normal reference profile for circular RNAs (circRNA) in the nervous system. These types of products could prove critical in advancing studies focused on neuronal development, substance abuse, and psychiatric disorders.
circRNA, a non-coding transcript present in the cytoplasm, plays a significant role in neuronal development and can serve as biomarkers for psychiatric disorders. Since circRNAs are present in lower abundance than other RNA molecules, and share sequence homology with mRNA, they are difficult to isolate from total RNA. A product that consistently isolates circRNAs paired with a way to confidently characterize normal representation in multiple tissue types are powerful tools for future study and diagnosis.