Strategies and Challenges in Identifying Function for Thousands of sORF‐Encoded Peptides in Meiosis

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EarlyView Article

  • Published: Oct 26, 2017
  • Author: Ina Hollerer, Andrea Higdon, Gloria A. Brar
  • Journal: PROTEOMICS


Recent genomic analyses have revealed pervasive translation from formerly unrecognized short open reading frames (sORFs) during yeast meiosis. Despite their short length, which has caused these regions to be systematically overlooked by traditional gene annotation approaches, meiotic sORFs share many features with classical genes, implying the potential for similar types of cellular functions. We found that sORF expression accounts for approximately 10–20% of the cellular translation capacity in yeast during meiotic differentiation and occurs within well‐defined time windows, suggesting the production of relatively abundant peptides with stage‐specific meiotic roles from these regions. Here, we provide arguments supporting this hypothesis and discuss sORF similarities and differences, as a group, to traditional protein coding regions, as well as challenges in defining their specific functions.

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