Small open reading frame (smORF)-encoded microporteins in vascular pathophysiology

Microproteins encoded by small open-reading frames (smORFs – shorter than 100 codons) have been implicated in a plethora of biological processes ranging from cell growth to the regulation of cellular signaling, metabolism and disease states. Thus far there has been no report of the generation of smORF-encoded microproteins by endothelial cells. A novel proteo-genomic approach developed in our group has enabled the unbiased detection of previously non-annotated smORF-encoded microproteins. Moreover, the expression of endothelial smORFs-encoded microproteins is altered by cell activation, e.g. by pro-inflammatory cytokines, suggesting an important role in the modulation of vascular homeostasis and function. Ongoing studies investigate the relevance and mechanisms of action of selected smORF-encoded microproteins following endothelial cell activation and in cardiovascular disease as well as vascular repair.

Team:

Dr. Mauro Siragusa

Sandrine Ngaha (TA)