The number and proportion of genes with no known function are growing rapidly. To quantify this phenomenon and provide criteria for prioritizing genes for functional characterization, we developed a bioinformatics pipeline that identifies robustly defined protein families with no annotated domains, ranks these with respect to phylogenetic breadth, and identifies them in metagenomics data. We applied this approach to 271 965 protein families from the SFams database and discovered many with no functional annotation, including >118 000 families lacking any known protein domain. From these, we prioritized 6 668 conserved protein families with at least three sequences from organisms in at least two distinct classes. These Function Unknown Families (FUnkFams) are present in Tara Oceans Expedition and Human Microbiome Project metagenomes, with distributions associated with sampling environment. Our findings highlight the extent of functional novelty in sequence databases and establish an approach for creating a "most wanted" list of genes to characterize.
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- 27 Nov 2020: The website and API now include results pulled from medRxiv as well as bioRxiv.
- 18 Dec 2019: We're pleased to announce PanLingua, a new tool that enables you to search for machine-translated bioRxiv preprints using more than 100 different languages.
- 21 May 2019: PLOS Biology has published a community page about Rxivist.org and its design.
- 10 May 2019: The paper analyzing the Rxivist dataset has been published at eLife.
- 1 Mar 2019: We now have summary statistics about bioRxiv downloads and submissions.
- 8 Feb 2019: Data from Altmetric is now available on the Rxivist details page for every preprint. Look for the "donut" under the download metrics.
- 30 Jan 2019: preLights has featured the Rxivist preprint and written about our findings.
- 22 Jan 2019: Nature just published an article about Rxivist and our data.
- 13 Jan 2019: The Rxivist preprint is live!