Mystery RNA spawns gene-activating peptides : Nature News

March 2, 2019


It should be possible to scan the genome for sequences encoding peptides shorter than 100 amino acids, says Mark Gerstein, a computational biologist at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, but sorting through the many ‘hits’ to determine which are functional is likely to be much more difficult.

Meanwhile, Gerstein notes that the polished rice peptides could also have implications for how we view pseudogenes, which have long been thought to be defunct relics of protein-coding genes. Pseudogenes often contain many signals that would stop protein synthesis and, as a result, could only encode short amino-acid chains. “Maybe this would provide a new way for pseudogenes to have some sort of function,” he says.