“Long non-coding RNAs as a source of new peptides” published in eLife

Abstract Deep transcriptome sequencing has revealed the existence of many transcripts that lack long or conserved open reading frames (ORFs) and which have been termed long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs). The vast majority of lncRNAs are lineage-specific and do not yet have a known function. In this study, we test the hypothesis that they may act as a repository for the synthesis of new peptides. We find that a large fraction of the lncRNAs expressed in cells from six different species is associated with ribosomes. The patterns of ribosome protection are consistent with the translation of short peptides. lncRNAs show similar coding potential and sequence constraints than evolutionary young protein coding sequences, indicating that they play an important role in de novo protein evolution.

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To get a quick idea Haldane’s Sieve post on preprint.
For non-experts eLife summary.
For the details see the complete paper Ruiz-Orera, J, Messeguer, X, Subirana JA, Albà MM.Long non-coding RNAs as a source of new peptides. eLife 2014;3:e03523.

17 September 2014 Institution Press release
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Filed under de novo gene evolution, lncRNA, Papers

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