Discovery of human sORF-encoded polypeptides (SEPs) in cell lines and tissue

J Proteome Res. 2014 Mar 7;13(3):1757-65. doi: 10.1021/pr401280w. Epub 2014 Feb 14.


The existence of nonannotated protein-coding human short open reading frames (sORFs) has been revealed through the direct detection of their sORF-encoded polypeptide (SEP) products. The discovery of novel SEPs increases the size of the genome and the proteome and provides insights into the molecular biology of mammalian cells, such as the prevalent usage of non-AUG start codons. Through modifications of the existing SEP-discovery workflow, we discover an additional 195 SEPs in K562 cells and extend this methodology to identify novel human SEPs in additional cell lines and human tissue for a final tally of 237 new SEPs. These results continue to expand the human genome and proteome and demonstrate that SEPs are a ubiquitous class of nonannotated polypeptides that require further investigation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / chemistry*
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics
  • Cell Line
  • Chromatography, Liquid
  • Codon, Initiator / chemistry
  • Codon, Initiator / genetics
  • Female
  • Genome, Human*
  • Humans
  • K562 Cells
  • Open Reading Frames*
  • Peptides / analysis*
  • Peptides / chemistry
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • Proteome / analysis*
  • Proteome / chemistry
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry


  • Codon, Initiator
  • Peptides
  • Proteome