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Evolution of new proteins from translated sORFs in long non-coding RNAs

Authors

  • J. Ruiz-Orera
  • J.L. Villanueva-Cañas
  • M.M. Albà

Journal

  • Experimental Cell Research

Citation

  • Exp Cell Res 391 (1): 111940

Abstract

  • High throughput RNA sequencing techniques have revealed that a large fraction of the genome is transcribed into long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs). Unlike canonical protein-coding genes, lncRNAs do not contain long open reading frames (ORFs) and tend to be poorly conserved across species. However, many of them contain small ORFs (sORFs) that exhibit translation signatures according to ribosome profiling or proteomics data. These sORFs are a source of putative novel proteins; some of them may confer a selective advantage and be maintained over time, a process known as de novo gene birth. Here we review the mechanisms by which randomly occurring sORFs in lncRNAs can become new functional proteins.


DOI

doi:10.1016/j.yexcr.2020.111940