Classification and function of small open reading frames

Couso, Juan Pablo and Patraquim, Pedro (2017) Classification and function of small open reading frames. Classification and Function of small Open Reading Frames, 18. pp. 575-589. ISSN 1471-0080

[img] PDF
Download (1MB)


Small open reading frames (smORFs) of 100 codons or fewer are usually - if arbitrarily - excluded from proteome annotations. Despite this, the genomes of many metazoans, including humans, contain millions of smORFs, some of which fulfil key physiological functions. Recently, the transcriptome of Drosophila melanogaster was shown to contain thousands of smORFs of different classes that actively undergo translation, which produces peptides of mostly unknown function. Here, we present a comprehensive analysis of smORFs in flies, mice and humans. We propose the existence of several functional classes of smORFs, ranging from inert DNA sequences to transcribed and translated cis-regulators of translation and peptides with a propensity to function as regulators of membrane-associated proteins, or as components of ancient protein complexes in the cytoplasm. We suggest that the different smORF classes could represent steps in gene, peptide and protein evolution. Our analysis introduces a distinction between different peptide-coding classes of smORFs in animal genomes, and highlights the role of model organisms for the study of small peptide biology in the context of development, physiology and human disease.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Brighton and Sussex Medical School
Research Centres and Groups: climate@sussex
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Juliet Kneller
Date Deposited: 13 Mar 2018 15:36
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2019 13:00

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update
Project NameSussex Project NumberFunderFunder Ref
Molecular and cellular functions of membrane peptides encoded by small ORFsG1791BBSRC-BIOTECHNOLOGY & BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES RESEARCH COUNCILBB/N001753/1