Deorphanizing the human transmembrane genome: A landscape of uncharacterized membrane proteins

Joseph J. Babcock, Min Li

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The sequencing of the human genome has fueled the last decade of work to functionally characterize genome content. An important subset of genes encodes membrane proteins, which are the targets of many drugs. They reside in lipid bilayers, restricting their endogenous activity to a relatively specialized biochemical environment. Without a reference phenotype, the application of systematic screens to profile candidate membrane proteins is not immediately possible. Bioinformatics has begun to show its effectiveness in focusing the functional characterization of orphan proteins of a particular functional class, such as channels or receptors. Here we discuss integration of experimental and bioinformatics approaches for characterizing the orphan membrane proteome. By analyzing the human genome, a landscape reference for the human transmembrane genome is provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-23
Number of pages13
JournalActa Pharmacologica Sinica
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • bioinformatics
  • drug target
  • enzyme
  • human genome
  • ion channel
  • membrane protein
  • orphan protein
  • receptor
  • transporter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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