Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are an emerging group of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) and have attracted attention again according to the progress in high-throughput sequencing in recent years. circRNAs are genome transcripts produced from pre-messenger (m)RNA regions in a specific process called “back-splicing,” which forms covalently closed continuous loops. Due to their lack of a 5’ cap and 3’ poly-adenylated tails, circRNAs are remarkably more stable than linear RNAs. Functionally, circRNAs can endogenously sponge to microRNAs, interact with RNA-binding proteins (RBPs), or translate themselves. Moreover, circRNAs can be expressed in cell type-or tissue-specific expression patterns. Therefore, they are proposed to play essential roles in fine-tuning our body’s homeostasis by regulating transcription and translation processes. Indeed, there has been accumulating emergent evidence showing that dysregulation of circRNAs can lead to metabolic disorders. This study explored the current knowledge of circRNAs that regulate molecular processes associated with glucose and lipid homeostasis and related pathogeneses of metabolic disorders. We also suggest the potential role of circRNAs as disease biomarkers and therapeutic targets.
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