Proteome-wide protein interaction measurements of bacterial proteins of unknown function
Despite the enormous proliferation of bacterial genome data, surprisingly persistent collections of bacterial proteins have resisted functional annotation. In a typical genome, roughly 30% of genes have no assigned function. Many of these proteins are conserved across a large number of bacterial genomes. To assign a putative function to these conserved proteins of unknown function, we created a physical interaction map by measuring biophysical interaction of these proteins. Binary protein-–protein interactions in the model organism Streptococcus pneumoniae (TIGR4) are measured with a microfluidic high-throughput assay technology. In some cases, informatic analysis was used to restrict the space of potential binding partners. In other cases, we performed in vitro proteome-wide interaction screens. We were able to assign putative functions to 50 conserved proteins of unknown function that we studied with this approach.