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Dark Proteins Important for Cellular Function


Despite substantial and successful projects for structural genomics, many proteins remain for which neither experimental structures nor homology-based models are known for any part of the amino acid sequence. These have been called dark proteins, in contrast to non-dark proteins, in which at least part of the sequence has a known or inferred structure. We hypothesized that non-dark proteins may be more abundantly expressed than dark proteins which are known to have much fewer sequence relatives. Surprisingly, we observed the opposite: human dark and non-dark proteins had quite similar levels of expression, in terms of both mRNA and protein abundance. Such high levels of expression strongly indicate that dark proteins - as a group - are important for cellular function. This is remarkable, given how carefully structural biologists have focused on proteins crucial for function, and highlights the important challenge posed by dark proteins in future research. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Type Journal
ISBN 1615-9861 (Electronic) 1615-9853 (Linking)
Authors Schafferhans, A.; O'Donoghue, S. I.; Heinzinger, M.; Rost, B.
Responsible Garvan Author Prof Sean O'Donoghue
Publisher Name PROTEOMICS
Published Date 2018-10-15
Published Pages e1800227
Status Always Electronic
DOI 10.1002/pmic.201800227
URL link to publisher's version
OpenAccess link to author's accepted manuscript version