Elucidating the functions of virally encoded elements

An important step in studying viral infection like any other biological process is to establish the identity of the proteins that are expressed during the process. Using suites of ribosome profiling based techniques and analysis in conjunction with mass-spectrometry we identified several hundred previously unidentified viral open reading frames. Importantly, widespread translation outside of annotated protein-coding genes was also found in many organisms including mammalian cells.  The outstanding challenge now is to define the functions of these newly identified translation events. We are using the highly manipulatable viral system to elucidate the function of few promising candidates and we use systematic approaches to examine viral short ORFs functions