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Front Pharmacol. 2018 Nov 13;9:1295. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2018.01295. eCollection 2018.

Peptides/Proteins Encoded by Non-coding RNA: A Novel Resource Bank for Drug Targets and Biomarkers.

Zhu S1,2, Wang J1,2, He Y1,2, Meng N1,2, Yan GR1,2.

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Biomedicine Research Center, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, China.
Key Laboratory of Protein Modification and Degradation, Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, China.


Non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) are defined as RNA molecules that do not encode proteins, but recent evidence has proven that peptides/proteins encoded by ncRNAs do indeed exist and usually contain less than 100 amino acids. These peptides/proteins play an important role in regulating tumor energy metabolism, epithelial to mesenchymal transition of cancer cells, the stability of the c-Myc oncoprotein, and the ubiquitination and degradation of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA). These peptides/proteins represent promising drug targets for fighting against tumor growth or biomarkers for predicting the prognosis of cancer patients. In this review, we summarize the characteristics of peptides/proteins that have recently been identified as putative ncRNA translation products and their outlook for small molecule peptide drugs, drug targets, and biomarkers.


biomarker; circular RNA (circRNA); drug target; long non-coding RNA (lncRNA); primary miRNA (pri-miRNA); small ORF; small peptide

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