What can Ribo-seq, immunopeptidomics, and proteomics tell us about the non-canonical proteome?
Ribosome profiling (Ribo-seq) has proven transformative for our understanding of the human genome and proteome by illuminating thousands of non-canonical sites of ribosome translation outside of the currently annotated coding sequences (CDSs). A conservative estimate suggests that at least 7,000 non-canonical open reading frames (ORFs) are translated, which, at first glance, has the potential to expand the number of human protein-coding sequences by 30%, from ∼19,500 annotated CDSs to over 26,000. Yet, additional scrutiny of these ORFs has raised numerous questions about what fraction of them truly produce a protein product and what fraction of those can be understood as proteins according to conventional understanding of the term. Adding further complication is the fact that published estimates of non-canonical ORFs vary widely by around 30-fold, from several thousand to several hundred thousand. The summation of this research has left the genomics and proteomics communities both excited by the prospect of new coding regions in the human genome, but searching for guidance on how to proceed. Here, we discuss the current state of non-canonical ORF research, databases, and interpretation, focusing on how to assess whether a given ORF can be said to be "protein-coding".
|Year of Publication
Molecular & cellular proteomics : MCP