We have discovered numerous cardiac and muscle specific genes of unknown function. We are currently using gain- and loss-of-function studies in vivo and in vitro to elucidate the functions of these novel genes. Many of these novel genes appear to play critical roles in heart and muscle development and disease.
Discovery and analysis of biologically active micropeptides
We have discovered a large collection of tiny peptides expressed by muscle, heart, and the cardiovascular system. These micropeptides are encoded by small open reading frames hidden with RNAs that are misannotated as long noncoding RNAs. Micropeptides function as singular protein domains that engage larger regulatory proteins to exert powerful biological functions in cells and between tissues.
We are currently exploring the functions of many micropeptides during development and disease.