Li Yang

Li Yang
Chinese Academy of Sciences | CAS

PhD

About

124
Publications
25,769
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13,519
Citations
Additional affiliations
July 2011 - present
PICB, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Position
  • Lab Head, Principal Investigator

Publications

Publications (124)
Article
Visualizing RNA dynamics is important for understanding RNA function. Catalytically dead (d) CRISPR-Cas13 systems have been established to image and track RNAs in living cells, but efficient dCas13 for RNA imaging is still limited. Here, we analyzed metagenomic and bacterial genomic databases to comprehensively screen Cas13 homologies for their RNA...
Preprint
Understanding gene transcription and mRNA-protein (mRNP) dynamics in single cells during development has been challenging. We report that zygotic microinjection of purified catalytically dead CRISPR-Cas13 (dCas13)-fluorescent proteins and modified guide (g)RNAs allows single- and dual-color tracking of developmentally expressed mRNAs in zebrafish e...
Article
Covalently closed, single-stranded circular RNAs can be produced from viral RNA genomes as well as from the processing of cellular housekeeping noncoding RNAs and precursor messenger RNAs. Recent transcriptomic studies have surprisingly uncovered that many protein-coding genes can be subjected to backsplicing, leading to widespread expression of a...
Article
Full-text available
Prime editor (PE), which is developed by combining Cas9 nickase and an engineered reverse transcriptase, can mediate all twelve types of base substitutions and small insertions or deletions in living cells but its efficiency remains low. Here, we develop spegRNA by introducing same-sense mutations at proper positions in the reverse-transcription te...
Article
Prime editors (PEs) were developed to induce versatile edits at a guide-specified genomic locus. With all RNA-guided genome editors, guide-dependent off-target (OT) mutations can occur at other sites bearing similarity to the intended target. However, whether PEs carry the additional risk of guide-independent mutations elicited by their unique enzy...
Article
Full-text available
Many circular RNAs (circRNAs) are produced from back-splicing of exons of precursor mRNAs and are generally co-expressed with cognate linear RNAs. Methods for circRNA-specific knockout are lacking, largely due to sequence overlaps between forms. Here, we use base editors (BEs) for circRNA depletion. By targeting splice sites involved in both back-s...
Article
Exon back-splicing-generated circular RNAs, as a group, can suppress double-stranded RNA (dsRNA)-activated protein kinase R (PKR) in cells. We have sought to synthesize immunogenicity-free, short dsRNA-containing RNA circles as PKR inhibitors. Here, we report that RNA circles synthesized by permuted self-splicing thymidylate synthase (td) introns f...
Article
Circular intronic RNAs (ciRNAs) escaping from DBR1 debranching of intron lariats are co-transcriptionally produced from pre-mRNA splicing, but their turnover and mechanism of action have remained elusive. We report that RNase H1 degrades a subgroup of ciRNAs in human cells. Many ciRNAs contain high GC% and tend to form DNA:RNA hybrids (R-loops) for...
Chapter
Accumulated lines of evidence have revealed that a large number of circular RNAs are produced in transcriptomes from fruit fly to mouse and human. Unlike linear RNAs shaped with 5′ cap and 3′ tail, circular RNAs are characterized by covalently closed loop structures without open terminals, thus required specific treatments for their identification...
Article
Full-text available
Single-cell RNA-seq (scRNA-seq) profiles gene expression with high resolution. Here, we develop a stepwise computational method-called SCAPTURE to identify, evaluate, and quantify cleavage and polyadenylation sites (PASs) from 3′ tag-based scRNA-seq. SCAPTURE detects PASs de novo in single cells with high sensitivity and accuracy, enabling detectio...
Preprint
Full-text available
A large number of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are produced from back-splicing of exon(s) of precursor mRNAs and generally co-expressed with their cognate linear RNAs from the same gene loci. Methods for circRNA-specific knockout are lacking, largely due to complete sequence-overlaps between circular and cognate linear RNAs. Here, we report to use base...
Article
Full-text available
RNA polymerase I (Pol I) transcription takes place at the border of the fibrillar center (FC) and the dense fibrillar component (DFC) in the nucleolus. Here, we report that individual spherical FC/DFC units are coated by the DEAD-box RNA helicase DDX21 in human cells. The long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) SLERT binds to DDX21 RecA domains to promote DDX2...
Article
Full-text available
The fusion of CRISPR–Cas9 with cytidine deaminases leads to base editors (BEs) capable of programmable C-to-T editing, which has potential in clinical applications but suffers from off-target (OT) mutations. Here, we used a cleavable deoxycytidine deaminase inhibitor (dCDI) domain to construct a transformer BE (tBE) system that induces efficient ed...
Preprint
Full-text available
Prime editor (PE) has been recently developed to induce efficient and precise on-target editing, whereas its guide RNA (gRNA)-independent off-target effects remain unknown. Here, we used whole-genome and whole-transcriptome sequencing to determine gRNA-independent off-target mutations in cells expanded from single colonies, in which PE generated pr...
Preprint
Full-text available
Fusion of CRISPR-Cas9 with cytidine deaminases leads to base editors (BEs) for programmable C-to-T editing, which holds potentials in clinical applications but suffers from off-target (OT) mutations. Here, we applied a cleavable deoxycytidine deaminase inhibitor (dCDI) domain to construct a transformer BE (tBE) system that induces efficient editing...
Preprint
Full-text available
Single-cell RNA-seq (scRNA-seq) profiles gene expression with a resolution that empowers depiction of cell atlas in complex systems. Here, we developed a stepwise computational pipeline SCAPTURE to identify, evaluate, and quantify cleavage and polyadenylation sites (PASs) from 3' tag-based scRNA-seq. SCAPTURE detects PASs de novo in single cells wi...
Article
Alternative splicing of eukaryotic precursor (messenger) RNAs in the nucleus not only increases transcriptomic complexity, but also expands proteomic and functional diversity. In addition to basic types of alternative splicing, recent transcriptome-wide analyses have also suggested other new types of non-canonical splicing, such as back splicing an...
Article
Circular RNAs are produced from back-splicing of exons of precursor mRNAs (pre-mRNAs). The sequences of exons in circular RNAs are identical to their linear cognate mRNAs, but the circular format may confer constraints on their folding and conformation, leading to potentially different functions from their linear RNA cognates. Here, we describe exp...
Article
Full-text available
Covalently closed circular RNAs (circRNAs) produced by back-splicing of exon(s) are co-expressed with their cognate linear RNAs from the same gene loci. Most circRNAs are fully overlapped with their cognate linear RNAs in sequences except the back-spliced junction (BSJ) site, thus challenging the computational detection, experimental validation and...
Article
Full-text available
Circular RNAs (circRNAs) produced from back-spliced exons are widely expressed, but individual circRNA functions remain poorly understood owing to the lack of adequate methods for distinguishing circRNAs from cognate messenger RNAs with overlapping exons. Here, we report that CRISPR–RfxCas13d can effectively discriminate circRNAs from mRNAs by usin...
Article
Full-text available
Two major moieties in genome editing are required for precise genetic changes: the locator moiety for target binding and the effector moiety for genetic engineering. By taking advantage of CRISPR/Cas, which consists of different modules for independent target binding and cleavage, a spectrum of precise and versatile genome editing technologies have...
Article
Full-text available
The advent of base editors (BEs) holds great potential for correcting pathogenic-related point mutations to treat relevant diseases. However, Cas9 nickase (nCas9)-derived BEs lead to DNA double-strand breaks, which can trigger unwanted DNA damage response (DDR). Here, we show that the original version of catalytically dead Cas12a (dCas12a)-conjugat...
Article
Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) evolve more rapidly than mRNAs. Whether conserved lncRNAs undergo conserved processing, localization, and function remains unexplored. We report differing subcellular localization of lncRNAs in human and mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs). A significantly higher fraction of lncRNAs is localized in the cytoplasm of hESCs...
Preprint
Full-text available
Circular RNAs (circRNAs) produced from back-spliced exons are widely expressed, but individual circRNA functions remain poorly understood due to inadequate methods, such as RNAi and genome engineering, in distinguishing overlapped exons in circRNAs from those in linear cognate mRNAs 1,2 . Here we report that the programable RNA-guided, RNA-targetin...
Article
Full-text available
Sequences of circular RNAs (circRNAs) produced from back-splicing of exon(s) completely overlap with those from cognate linear RNAs transcribed from the same gene loci with the exception of their back-splicing junction (BSJ) sites. Therefore, examination of global circRNA expression from RNA-seq datasets generally relies on the detection of RNA-seq...
Article
Full-text available
A variety of base editors have been developed to achieve C-to-T editing in different genomic contexts. Here, we compare a panel of five base editors on their C-to-T editing efficiencies and product purity at commonly editable sites, including some human pathogenic C-to-T mutations. We further profile the accessibilities of 20 base editors to all po...
Article
The steroid hormones are instrumental for the growth of mammary epithelial cells. Our previous study indicates that hormones regulate the expression of Rspondin-1 (Rspo1). Yet, the regulatory mechanism remains unknown. In the current study, we identify Amphiregulin (Areg) as a novel upstream regulator of Rspo1 expression mediating the hormonal infl...
Article
Fibrillar centers (FCs) and dense fibrillar components (DFCs) are essential morphologically distinct sub-regions of mammalian cell nucleoli for rDNA transcription and pre-rRNA processing. Here, we report that a human nucleolus consists of several dozen FC/DFC units, each containing 2-3 transcriptionally active rDNAs at the FC/DFC border. Pre-rRNA p...
Preprint
Full-text available
Sequences of circular RNAs (circRNAs) produced from back-splicing of exon(s) completely overlap with sequences from cognate linear RNAs transcribed from the same gene loci with the exception of their back-splicing junction (BSJ) sites. Examination of global circRNA expression from RNA-seq datasets generally relies on the detection of RNA-seq fragme...
Article
Full-text available
Circular RNA (circRNA) possesses great pre-clinical diagnostic and therapeutic potentials in multiple cancers. It has been reported playing roles in multiple malignant behaviors including proliferation, migration, metastasis and chemoresistance. However, the underlying correlation between circRNAs and cancer stem cells (CSCs) has not been reported...
Article
In vivo studies indicate that cytosine but not adenine base editors induce elevated levels of genome-wide off-target substitutions.
Article
Full-text available
Base editing is emerging as a potent new strategy to achieve precise gene editing. By combining different nucleobase deaminases with Cas9 or Cpf1 proteins, several base editors have recently been developed to achieve targeted base conversions in different genomic contexts. Importantly, base editors have been successfully applied in animals, plants,...
Article
Circular RNAs (circRNAs) produced from back-splicing of exons of pre-mRNAs are widely expressed, but current understanding of their functions is limited. These RNAs are stable in general and are thought to have unique structural conformations distinct from their linear RNA cognates. Here, we show that endogenous circRNAs tend to form 16–26 bp imper...
Chapter
Circular RNAs (circRNAs) derived from back-spliced exons were sporadically identified about 25 years ago, and have been recently re-discovered genome-wide across different species. Interestingly, one gene locus can generate multiple circRNAs through alternative back-splicing and/or alternative splicing, thus expanding our understanding on the diver...
Article
Full-text available
Base editors (BEs) enable the generation of targeted single-nucleotide mutations, but currently used rat APOBEC1-based BEs are relatively inefficient in editing cytosines in highly methylated regions or in GpC contexts. By screening a variety of APOBEC and AID deaminases, we show that human APOBEC3A-conjugated BEs and versions we engineered to have...
Article
Full-text available
The long noncoding RNA NEAT1 (nuclear enriched abundant transcript 1) nucleates the formation of paraspeckles, which constitute a type of nuclear body with multiple roles in gene expression. Here we identify NEAT1 regulators using an endogenous NEAT1 promoter-driven enhanced green fluorescent protein reporter in human cells coupled with genome-wide...
Article
Full-text available
Circular RNAs (circRNAs) from back-splicing of exon(s) have been recently identified to be broadly expressed in eukaryotes, in tissue- and species- specific manners. Although functions of most circRNAs remain elusive, some circRNAs are shown to be functional in gene expression regulation and potentially relate to diseases. Due to their stability, c...
Article
N6-methyladenosine (m6A) and adenosine-to-inosine (A-to-I) editing are two of the most abundant RNA modifications, both at adenosines. Yet, the interaction of these two types of adenosine modifications is largely unknown. Here we show a global A-to-I difference between m6A-positive and m6A-negative RNA populations. Both the presence and extent of A...
Article
Many eukaryotic genes generate linear mRNAs and circular RNAs, but it is largely unknown how the ratio of linear to circular RNA is controlled or modulated. Using RNAi screening in Drosophila cells, we identify many core spliceosome and transcription termination factors that control the RNA outputs of reporter and endogenous genes. When spliceosome...
Article
Background Circular RNAs (circRNAs) from back-spliced exon(s) are characterized by the covalently closed loop feature with neither 5′ to 3′ polarity nor polyadenylated tail. By using specific computational approaches that identify reads mapped to back-splice junctions with a reversed genomic orientation, ten thousands of circRNAs have been recently...
Article
Circular RNAs (circRNAs) generated via back-splicing are enhanced by flanking complementary sequences. Expression levels of circRNAs vary under different conditions, suggesting participation of protein factors in their biogenesis. Using genome-wide siRNA screening that targets all human unique genes and an efficient circRNA expression reporter, we...
Article
Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are emerging as potential key regulators in gene expression networks and exhibit a surprising range of shapes and sizes. Several distinct classes of lncRNAs are transcribed from different DNA elements, including promoters, enhancers, and intergenic regions in eukaryotic genomes. Additionally, others are derived from lo...
Article
Full-text available
Dysregulated rRNA synthesis by RNA polymerase I (Pol I) is associated with uncontrolled cell proliferation. Here, we report a box H/ACA small nucleolar RNA (snoRNA)-ended long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) that enhances pre-rRNA transcription (SLERT). SLERT requires box H/ACA snoRNAs at both ends for its biogenesis and translocation to the nucleolus. Dele...
Article
Full-text available
Protein translation regulation has essential roles in inflammatory responses, cancer initiation and the pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative disorders. However, the role of the regulation of protein translation in mammalian skeleton development has been rarely elaborated. Here we report that the lack of the RNA-binding protein sterile alpha mo...
Article
Full-text available
Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are broadly identified from precursor mRNA (pre-mRNA) back-splicing across various species. Recent studies have suggested a cell-/tissue- specific manner of circRNA expression. However, the distinct expression pattern of circRNAs among species and its underlying mechanism still remain to be explored. Here, we systematically...
Article
We identify a type of polycistronic transcript-derived long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) that are 5′ small nucleolar RNA (snoRNA) capped and 3′ polyadenylated (SPAs). SPA processing is associated with nascent mRNA 3′ processing and kinetic competition between XRN2 trimming and Pol II elongation. Following cleavage/polyadenylation of its upstream gene,...
Article
RNA sequence motifs are not sufficient for association with RBPs. In this issue of Molecular Cell , Taliaferro et al. (2016) demonstrate that, other than sequence motif, RNA secondary structure plays a repressive role on RBP binding, both in vitro and in vivo.
Article
Full-text available
Circular RNAs (circRNAs) derived from back-spliced exons have been widely identified as being co-expressed with their linear counterparts. A single gene locus can produce multiple circRNAs through alternative back-splice site selection and/or alternative splice site selection; however, a detailed map of alternative back-splicing/splicing in circRNA...
Data
List of circRNA-derived pseudogenes in mouse and human.
Data
Characteriation of mouse and human circRNA-derived pseudogenes.
Article
Full-text available
Steady-state circular RNAs (circRNAs) have been mapped to thousands of genomic loci in mammals. We studied circRNA processing using metabolic tagging of nascent RNAs with 4-thiouridine (4sU). Strikingly, the efficiency of circRNA processing from pre-mRNA is extremely low endogenously. Additional studies revealed that back-splicing outcomes correlat...
Article
Full-text available
Cell death and differentiation is a monthly research journal focused on the exciting field of programmed cell death and apoptosis. It provides a single accessible source of information for both scientists and clinicians, keeping them up-to-date with advances in the field. It encompasses programmed cell death, cell death induced by toxic agents, dif...
Chapter
Accumulated lines of evidence reveal that a large number of circular RNAs are produced in transcriptomes from fruit fly to mouse and human. Unlike linear RNAs shaped with 5′ cap and 3′ tail, circular RNAs are characterized by covalently closed loop structures without open terminals, thus requiring specific treatments for their identification and va...
Article
Full-text available
Cell death and differentiation is a monthly research journal focused on the exciting field of programmed cell death and apoptosis. It provides a single accessible source of information for both scientists and clinicians, keeping them up-to-date with advances in the field. It encompasses programmed cell death, cell death induced by toxic agents, dif...
Article
Full-text available
Eukaryotic precursor‐messenger RNAs (pre‐mRNAs) undergo splicing to remove intragenic regions (introns) and ligate expressed regions (exons) together. Unlike exons in the mature messenger RNAs (mRNAs) that are used for translation, introns that are spliced out of pre‐mRNAs were generally believed to lack function and to be degraded. However, recent...
Article
Full-text available
Most of mRNAs and well-characterized long noncoding RNAs are shaped with 5' cap and 3' poly(A) tail. Thereby, conventional transcriptome analysis typically involved the enrichment of poly(A)+ RNAs by oligo(dT) selection. However, accumulated lines of evidence suggest that there are many RNA transcripts processed in alternative ways, which largely f...
Article
Full-text available
Alternative splicing is regulated by RNA binding proteins (RBPs) that recognize pre-mRNA sequence elements and activate or repress adjacent exons. Here, we used RNA interference and RNA-seq to identify splicing events regulated by 56 Drosophila proteins, some previously unknown to regulate splicing. Nearly all proteins affected alternative first ex...
Article
Aberrant expression of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) has been linked to cancers. The MYC oncoprotein is a key contributor to the development of many human tumors. Recent studies have revealed that a number of lncRNAs originating from the human 8q24 locus previously known to corresponding to a 'gene desert' are transcribed and play important roles i...
Article
Mouse androgenetic haploid embryonic stem cells (AG-haESCs) can support full-term development of semi-cloned (SC) embryos upon injection into MII oocytes and thus have potential applications in genetic modifications. However, the very low birth rate of SC pups limits practical use of this approach. Here, we show that AG-haESCs carrying deletions in...
Article
Two studies published in this issue of Molecular Cell (Rybak-Wolf et al., 2015) and in the April issue of Nature Neuroscience (You et al., 2015) independently report the upregulated expression of back-spliced circular RNAs (circRNAs) in brains and suggest that they have a potential to regulate synaptic function. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All r...
Article
Full-text available
In many cells, mRNAs containing inverted repeated Alu elements (IRAlus) in their 3' untranslated regions (UTRs) are inefficiently exported to the cytoplasm. Such nuclear retention correlates with paraspeckle-associated protein complexes containing p54(nrb). However, nuclear retention of mRNAs containing IRAlus is variable, and how regulation of ret...
Article
Full-text available
Unlike linear RNAs terminated with 5' caps and 3' tails, circular RNAs are characterized by covalently closed loop structures with neither 5' to 3' polarity nor polyadenylated tail. This intrinsic characteristic has led to the general under-estimation of the existence of circular RNAs in previous polyadenylated transcriptome analyses. With the adve...