bims-micpro Biomed News
on Discovery and characterization of microproteins
Issue of 2021‒06‒27
two papers selected by
Thomas Martinez
Salk Institute for Biological Studies

  1. Database (Oxford). 2021 Jun 22. pii: baab032. [Epub ahead of print]2021
      The development of high-throughput technologies revealed the existence of non-canonical short open reading frames (sORFs) on most eukaryotic ribonucleic acids. They are ubiquitous genetic elements conserved across species and suspected to be involved in numerous cellular processes. MetamORF ( aims to provide a repository of unique sORFs identified in the human and mouse genomes with both experimental and computational approaches. By gathering publicly available sORF data, normalizing them and summarizing redundant information, we were able to identify a total of 1 162 675 unique sORFs. Despite the usual characterization of ORFs as short, upstream or downstream, there is currently no clear consensus regarding the definition of these categories. Thus, the data have been reprocessed using a normalized nomenclature. MetamORF enables new analyses at locus, gene, transcript and ORF levels, which should offer the possibility to address new questions regarding sORF functions in the future. The repository is available through an user-friendly web interface, allowing easy browsing, visualization, filtering over multiple criteria and export possibilities. sORFs can be searched starting from a gene, a transcript and an ORF ID, looking in a genome area or browsing the whole repository for a species. The database content has also been made available through track hubs at UCSC Genome Browser. Finally, we demonstrated an enrichment of genes harboring upstream ORFs among genes expressed in response to reticular stress. Database URL
  2. Methods Mol Biol. 2021 ;2348 221-230
      In recent years, long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been increasingly recognized as critical regulators of a broad spectrum of cellular processes. Recent advancements in proteomic technologies have uncovered that an abundance of noncoding genes, including lncRNAs, have been misannotated and in reality encode proteins. This revelation underscores the need to accurately determine the coding potential of lncRNAs prior to assessment of their functional mechanisms. Here, we detail numerous experimental techniques useful in the determination of lncRNA coding potential. Several of these methods are doubly useful in that they may also be employed in studying the function of a lncRNA, be it via an RNA, protein, or both.
    Keywords:  Coding potential; Long noncoding RNAs; Micropeptides; Translation; lncRNAs