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Title: Pan-cancer analysis of transcripts encoding novel open-reading frames (nORFs) and their potential biological functions
Authors: Erady, C
Boxall, A
Puntambekar, S
Suhas Jagannathan, N
Chauhan, R
Chong, D
Meena, N
Kulkarni, A
Kasabe, B
Prathivadi Bhayankaram, K
Umrania, Y
Andreani, A
Nel, J
Wayland, MT
Pina, C
Lilley, KS
Prabakaran, S
Keywords: genetics;systems biology
Issue Date: 25-Jan-2021
Publisher: Springer Nature
Citation: Erady, C., Boxall, A., Puntambekar, S. et al. (2021) 'Pan-cancer analysis of transcripts encoding novel open-reading frames (nORFs) and their potential biological functions', npj Genomic Medicine, 6 (1), pp. 1-17. doi: 10.1038/s41525-020-00167-4.
Abstract: © The Author(s) 2021. Uncharacterized and unannotated open-reading frames, which we refer to as novel open reading frames (nORFs), may sometimes encode peptides that remain unexplored for novel therapeutic opportunities. To our knowledge, no systematic identification and characterization of transcripts encoding nORFs or their translation products in cancer, or in any other physiological process has been performed. We use our curated nORFs database (, together with RNA-Seq data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and Genotype-Expression (GTEx) consortiums, to identify transcripts containing nORFs that are expressed frequently in cancer or matched normal tissue across 22 cancer types. We show nORFs are subject to extensive dysregulation at the transcript level in cancer tissue and that a small subset of nORFs are associated with overall patient survival, suggesting that nORFs may have prognostic value. We also show that nORF products can form protein-like structures with post-translational modifications. Finally, we perform in silico screening for inhibitors against nORF-encoded proteins that are disrupted in stomach and esophageal cancer, showing that they can potentially be targeted by inhibitors. We hope this work will guide and motivate future studies that perform in-depth characterization of nORF functions in cancer and other diseases.
Other Identifiers: 4
Appears in Collections:Dept of Life Sciences Research Papers

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