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PLoS Comput Biol. 2012 May;8(5):e1002540. doi: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002540. Epub 2012 May 31.

The CanOE strategy: integrating genomic and metabolic contexts across multiple prokaryote genomes to find candidate genes for orphan enzymes.

Author information

1
CEA DSV IG, Genoscope, Evry, France. aatsmith@orange.fr

Abstract

Of all biochemically characterized metabolic reactions formalized by the IUBMB, over one out of four have yet to be associated with a nucleic or protein sequence, i.e. are sequence-orphan enzymatic activities. Few bioinformatics annotation tools are able to propose candidate genes for such activities by exploiting context-dependent rather than sequence-dependent data, and none are readily accessible and propose result integration across multiple genomes. Here, we present CanOE (Candidate genes for Orphan Enzymes), a four-step bioinformatics strategy that proposes ranked candidate genes for sequence-orphan enzymatic activities (or orphan enzymes for short). The first step locates "genomic metabolons", i.e. groups of co-localized genes coding proteins catalyzing reactions linked by shared metabolites, in one genome at a time. These metabolons can be particularly helpful for aiding bioanalysts to visualize relevant metabolic data. In the second step, they are used to generate candidate associations between un-annotated genes and gene-less reactions. The third step integrates these gene-reaction associations over several genomes using gene families, and summarizes the strength of family-reaction associations by several scores. In the final step, these scores are used to rank members of gene families which are proposed for metabolic reactions. These associations are of particular interest when the metabolic reaction is a sequence-orphan enzymatic activity. Our strategy found over 60,000 genomic metabolons in more than 1,000 prokaryote organisms from the MicroScope platform, generating candidate genes for many metabolic reactions, of which more than 70 distinct orphan reactions. A computational validation of the approach is discussed. Finally, we present a case study on the anaerobic allantoin degradation pathway in Escherichia coli K-12.

PMID:
22693442
PMCID:
PMC3364942
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002540
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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