Acute kidney injury (AKI) remains a significant clinical problem with a high mortality rate. Thus, the need for early recognition and treatment of AKI is an important goal. Clinical Science has a history of publishing high impact work across a breadth of scientific disciplines to improve understanding of disease mechanisms, including nephrology. This commentary spotlights a paper from more recent history that is highly cited. The work focuses on the mechanistic role of circular RNA in the pathobiology of AKI using approaches that include both in vivo experimental models and human cell culture experiments to delineate a potentially novel cellular pathway.