Bioinformatics Analysis of the Novel Conserved Micropeptides Encoded by the Plants of Family Brassicaceae

Author(s): Sergey Y Morozov, Dmitriy Y Ryazantsev, Tatiana N Erokhina

Background: The new class of plant small peptide regulators was recently shown to be encoded by primiRNA transcripts which can be transported to cytoplasm in unprocessed mRNA-like form. Striking similarities in general phenotypic activities between human miR200a/b and plant miR156a suggested us that a comparison with the coding potential between the corresponding pri-miRNAs could identify parallels in the encoded miPEPs.

Method: The study aimed to explore the protein coding ability of the pri-miR156a in Brassicaceae plants using bioinformatics analysis of the available proteomes and translatomes reported for Arabidopsis thaliana. Also, the physicochemical parameters of miPEP-156a were examined.

Results: Our analysis showed that predicted miPEP-156a micropeptide is evolutionarily conserved in plant family Brassicaceae. We propose that functional properties of miPEP-156a can be affected by posttranslational modifications.

Conclusion: Despite the well-known fact that primiRNAs are acting as non-protein-coding RNAs, the published data suggest that, in the plant genomes, some pri-miRNAs can also be found in polysomes, and the expression of these miRNA precursors may results in formation of micropeptides which may be involved in regulation of gene expression.

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