Not So Noncoding

An RNA thought to be noncoding in fact encodes a small protein that regulates calcium uptake in muscle.

Jenny Rood
Jun 1, 2015

MISNOMER: A peptide (pink, with its predicted binding to a muscle protein) is translated from an RNA thought to have been noncoding. D.M. ANDERSON ET AL., CELL, 160:595-606, 2015


The paper
D.M. Anderson et al., “A micropeptide encoded by a putative long noncoding RNA regulates muscle performance,” Cell, 160:595-606, 2015.

The transcript
Eric Olson and his colleagues at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center were combing through muscle-specific long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) to understand their function when they found one expressed exclusively in skeletal muscle. Although the RNA had previously been categorized as noncoding, its sequence contained a short stretch that looked suspiciously like a coding region.

The micropeptide
The researchers verified that the RNA encoded a 46-amino-acid micropeptide expressed in vivo that they named myoregulin. Myoregulin forms a membrane-spanning alpha helix similar in structure to two other small proteins expressed...