Editors' ChoiceDevelopmental Biology

Small peptide regulates protein activity

Sci. Signal.  22 Sep 2015:
Vol. 8, Issue 395, pp. ec274
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aad4802

Coding and noncoding RNAs can produce peptides from small open reading frames (smORFs), most of which have unknown functions. Using a genome-wide screen, Zanet et al. show that Polished rice (Pri) smORF peptides control fruit fly development by binding to an E3 ubiquitin ligase. This changes the ligase's selectivity and triggers proteasome-dependent maturation of the developmental transcription factor Shavenbaby. Other smORF peptides may act by a similar mechanism to regulate protein activity.

J. Zanet, E. Benrabah, T. Li, A. Pélissier-Monier, H. Chanut-Delalande, B. Ronsin, H. J. Bellen, F. Payre, S. Plaza, Pri sORF peptides induce selective proteasome-mediated protein processing. Science 349, 1356–1358 (2015). [Abstract] [Full Text]