PMID: 22940582
Shumilin IA, Cymborowski M, Chertihin O, Jha KN, Herr JC, Lesley SA, Joachimiak A, Minor W
Identification of Unknown Protein Function Using Metabolite Cocktail Screening.
Structure. 2012 Aug 28.
Proteins of unknown function comprise a significant fraction of sequenced genomes. Defining the roles of these proteins is vital to understanding cellular processes. Here, we describe a method to determine a protein function based on the identification of its natural ligand(s) by the crystallographic screening of the binding of a metabolite library, followed by a focused search in the metabolic space. The method was applied to two protein families with unknown function, PF01256 and YjeF_N. The PF01256 proteins, represented by YxkO from Bacillus subtilis and the C-terminal domain of Tm0922 from Thermotoga maritima, were shown to catalyze ADP/ATP-dependent NAD(P)H-hydrate dehydratation, a previously described orphan activity. The YjeF_N proteins, represented by mouse apolipoprotein A-I binding protein and the N-terminal domain of Tm0922, were found to interact with an adenosine diphosphoribose-related substrate and likely serve as ADP-ribosyltransferases. Crystallographic screening of metabolites serves as an efficient tool in functional analyses of uncharacterized proteins.