- Suitable for PhD Students
Background: For several years, it is known that human genome has ~20,000 protein coding genes. Transcriptome sequencing studies in the past decade have revealed that a large portion of human genome is transcribed. However, most of it is thought to be non-coding. Recent studies have revealed that some of the annotated non-coding RNAs harbor small open reading frames that code for micropeptides/small peptides. We have previously discovered several small ORFs in annotated non-coding RNAs and UTR regions of mRNAs (Nature. 2014 509(7502):575-81). Various studies in the last five years have demonstrated that micropeptides regulate several functions including development, muscle performance and DNA repair. Ribosome profiling studies (Ribo-Seq) have also revealed the possibility of many small open reading frames that could potentially code for micropeptides. It appears that several micropeptides encoded by human genome are yet to be discovered. Until then, various cellular functions regulated by these micropeptides and their role in various human diseases remains out of bounds for systematic investigation.
Aim: Identification of micropeptides produced by cancer cells
Hypothesis: Cancer cells produce micropeptides that are involved in regulating tumorigenesis
- Cell culture
- Isolation of micropeptides from cancer cell lines
- Identification and characterization of micropeptides by mass spectrometry
- Characterization of role of micropeptides in tumorigenesis