Proteins restricted to a given species or lineage are mysterious. Many of them have emerged de novo from ancestral non-coding genomic regions rather than from pre-existing genes. A new study by Vakirlis et al. shows that a large portion of the human de novo originated proteins are associated with phenotypic effects, accelerating our understanding on the functional importance of this novel class of proteins.
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Papadopoulos C, Albà MM. Newly evolved genes in the human lineage are functional. Trends Genet. 2023 Apr;39(4):235-236.