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Functional genomics

Conserved functions of small open reading frames

Small open reading frames (smORFs) encode peptides of <100 amino acids. They are present in animal and plant genomes but investigation of their functions has been mostly neglected because of technical challenges. These authors identified two Drosophila melanogaster smORFs that are translated and function in Ca2+ transport in the heart, where they are important for heart muscle function. They found that these smORFs have human homologues and suggest that they have a potentially conserved function in the heart. This evidence highlights the need for the further investigation of smORF functions.


  1. Magny, E. G. et al. Conserved regulation of cardiac calcium uptake by peptides encoded in small open reading frames. Science (2013)

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Lokody, I. Conserved functions of small open reading frames. Nat Rev Genet 14, 679 (2013).

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