Short open reading frame (sORF) encoded polypeptides, also called microproteins or SEPs (small encoded peptides), have recently emerged as new players in biology. SEPs, usually less than 100 amino acids in length, are produced from various RNAs: the 5' and 3' untranslated regions, introns of pre-mRNAs or alternative reading frames of the coding sequence of messenger RNAs. Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) and rRNAs (ribosomal ribonucleic acids) were also found to code for SEPs. Several microproteins have been shown to be biologically active molecules and appear to be involved in a wide range of biological functions. In particular, they regulate many key cellular processes such as apoptosis, cellular respiration, mTOR signaling, DNA damage repair or the response to stress. However, the cellular roles of thousands of SEPs are still unknown. Since proteins rarely act alone, the identification of their interaction partners provides information about their cellular functions.
The objective of this thesis work will therefore be the discovery of the cellular functions of the SEPs identified in Drosophila through the inference and the analysis of their protein interaction network.
Expected profile and and skills:
- Master in Bioinformatics or Systems Biology or Complex Systems or Data Science.
- Coding: Python, R.
- Experience in data analysis is a plus.
- As the project will be partially carried out in the context of an international collaboration, a good level of English is expected (B2, upper intermediate).
Starting date: October 2023
Laboratory: TAGC, Aix-Marseille University, Luminy Campus, Marseille, France.
Additional information in the attached document and on the following page (in French and English):