Mapping subcellular localizations of unannotated microproteins and alternative proteins with MicroID

Mol Cell. 2022 Aug 4;82(15):2900-2911.e7. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2022.06.035. Epub 2022 Jul 28.


Proteogenomic identification of translated small open reading frames has revealed thousands of previously unannotated, largely uncharacterized microproteins, or polypeptides of less than 100 amino acids, and alternative proteins (alt-proteins) that are co-encoded with canonical proteins and are often larger. The subcellular localizations of microproteins and alt-proteins are generally unknown but can have significant implications for their functions. Proximity biotinylation is an attractive approach to define the protein composition of subcellular compartments in cells and in animals. Here, we developed a high-throughput technology to map unannotated microproteins and alt-proteins to subcellular localizations by proximity biotinylation with TurboID (MicroID). More than 150 microproteins and alt-proteins are associated with subnuclear organelles. One alt-protein, alt-LAMA3, localizes to the nucleolus and functions in pre-rRNA transcription. We applied MicroID in a mouse model, validating expression of a conserved nuclear microprotein, and establishing MicroID for discovery of microproteins and alt-proteins in vivo.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Nucleolus
  • Mice
  • Open Reading Frames
  • Peptides* / genetics
  • Proteins* / genetics


  • Peptides
  • Proteins