An approach to function annotation for Proteins of Unknown Function (PUFs) in the transcriptome of indian mulberry

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The modern sequencing technologies are generating large volumes of information at the transcriptome and genome level. Translation of this information into a biological meaning is far behind the race due to which a significant portion of proteins discovered remain as proteins of unknown function (PUFs). Attempts to uncover the functional significance of PUFs are limited due to lack of easy and high throughput functional annotation tools. Here, we report an approach to assign putative functions to PUFs, identified in the transcriptome of mulberry, a perennial tree commonly cultivated as host of silkworm. We utilized the mulberry PUFs generated from leaf tissues exposed to drought stress at whole plant level. A sequence and structure based computational analysis predicted the probable function of the PUFs. For rapid and easy annotation of PUFs, we developed an automated pipeline by integrating diverse bioinformatics tools, designated as PUFs Annotation Server (PUFAS), which also provides a web service API (Application Programming Interface) for a large-scale analysis up to a genome. The expression analysis of three selected PUFs annotated by the pipeline revealed abiotic stress responsiveness of the genes, and hence their potential role in stress acclimation pathways. The automated pipeline developed here could be extended to assign functions to PUFs from any organism in general. PUFAS web server is available at and the web service is accessible at




Dhanyalakshmi, K. H., Naika, M. B. N., Sajeevan, R. S., Mathew, O. K., Shafi, K. M., Sowdhamini, R., & Nataraja, K. N. (2016). An approach to function annotation for Proteins of Unknown Function (PUFs) in the transcriptome of indian mulberry. PLoS ONE, 11(3).

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