Protein sequence and function of uncharacterised enzymes in fungi
Fast advances in genome sequencing technology leave ~30 % of predicted proteins as 'orphans', meaning there is no information about their function or about closely related enzymes. Fungi are known as the prolific producers of secondary metabolites, however, the study of the underlying biosynthetic gene clusters is still poorly developed. The EU-funded fORPHAN project aims at developing a de-orphanising pipeline based on the computational and experimental characterisation of enzymes from the fungal kingdom. Researchers propose the use of deep targeted database searches to identify key biosynthetic enzymes in the publicly available genomes of fungi. The promising gene candidates will be expressed in vitro and in recombinant microbial hosts to characterise their activity on a range of substrates and by X-ray crystallography.
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