Yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) has been an instrumental model system for an extraordinary diverse array of research applications for over a century now. The S. cerevisiae genome was fully sequenced in 1996, and, as a result, 6,753 potential proteins were identified. These putative proteins were established by investigating likely open reading frames within the genome. Over the past few decades, nearly 5,000 open reading frames (ORFs) and their expressed proteins have been described, and the remaining undefined open reading frames are labeled as open reading frames of unknown function (ORFans). To better understand the remaining gaps within the S. cerevisiae genome, past investigations have identified the function, localization and phenotypes of each ORFan. Here, the ORFan sequences YOR280C, YGR066C, and YLR359W have been selected to compare across an array of other model organisms, including Caenorhabditis elegans, Drosophila melanogaster, Rattus norvegicus, Mus musculus, Homo sapiens, and Schizosaccharomyces pombe. This preliminary study aims to illustrate fundamental evolutionary and molecular features of these three ORFs across species. Our comparative approach will aid in the prediction of the true localization of each protein in S. cerevisiae by leveraging known features of related species and sequences. In the future, the localization of each protein is to be examined via green fluorescent protein (GFP) tagging and fluorescent microscopy. We also plan to generate mutations on these genes and identify to stressor conditions that would reveal mutant phenotypes to further investigate functions of the, YOR280C, YGR066C, and YLR359W protein products.
Barr, Lewis, "Predicting Gene Function of Unknown Yeast ORFs Through Phylogenetic Comparative Analysis" (2022). Graduate Research Posters. 43.