Expression of synthetic proteins from intergenic regions of E. coli and their functional association was recently demonstrated (Dhar et al. in J Biol Eng 3:2, 2009. doi:10.1186/1754-1611-3-2). This gave birth to the question: if one can make ‘user-defined’ genes from non-coding genome—how big is the artificially translatable genome? (Dinger et al. in PLoS Comput Biol 4, 2008; Frith et al. in RNA Biol 3(1):40–48, 2006a; Frith et al. in PLoS Genet 2(4):e52, 2006b). To answer this question, we performed a bioinformatics study of all reported E. coli intergenic sequences, in search of novel peptides and proteins, unexpressed by nature. Overall, 2500 E. coli intergenic sequences were computationally translated into ‘protein sequence equivalents’ and matched against all known proteins. Sequences that did not show any resemblance were used for building a comprehensive profile in terms of their structure, function, localization, interactions, stability so on. A total of 362 protein sequences showed evidence of stable tertiary conformations encoded by the intergenic sequences of E. coli genome. Experimental studies are underway to confirm some of the key predictions. This study points to a vast untapped repository of functional molecules lying undiscovered in the non-expressed genome of various organisms. © 2015, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.