A human short ORF-encoded peptide that stimulates DNA end joining [DNA and Chromosomes]

March 7th, 2014 by Slavoff, S. A., Heo, J., Budnik, B. A., Hanakahi, L. A., Saghatelian, A.

The recent discovery of numerous human short open reading frame (sORF)-encoded polypeptides (SEPs) has raised important questions about the functional roles of these molecules in cells. Here, we show that a 69-amino acid SEP, MRI-2, physically interacts with the Ku heterodimer to stimulate DNA double strand break ligation via non-homologous end joining. The characterization of MRI-2 suggests that this SEP may participate in DNA repair and underscores the potential of SEPs to serve important biological functions in mammalian cells.