The development in sequencing technologies over the past few decades have increased the
pace of decoding genetic and functional information present in the genomes of pathogenic microorganisms.
The knowledge obtained through sequencing projects facilitated the identification of genes
that codes for virulence factors. A major portion of genomes of pathogenic of bacteria contains genes
which are classified as “hypothetical or uncharacterized”. Due to unavailability of precise information
about the functionality of these genes, the pathogenic mechanisms utilized by varieties of microorganisms
are not fully understood. This respective class of proteins draws a significant interest of pharmaceutical research as
they have potential to provide new clues regarding the development of novel therapeutics particularly against the
multidrug resistant strains of bacteria. The in silico identification of putative drug and vaccine targets in the set of uncharacterized
proteins through comparative and subtractive genome analyses facilitates the increase usability and efficiency of
the present drugs. The functional annotation of these characterized target proteins can uncover varieties of biochemical
pathways important for the survival and pathogenesis of bacteria. This review focuses on the current protocols available
for identification and functional annotations of these uncharacterized potential therapeutic targets.
Keywords: Hypothetical proteins, Drug targets, Genomic analyses, Sequence based function prediction, Structure-Function
relationship, Molecular Dynamics simulations.
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