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The completion and annotation of the human proteome require the availability of information related to protein function. Currently, more than 1800 human genes constitute the "dark proteome," which include missing proteins, uncharacterized human genes validated at protein level, smORFs, proteins from lncRNAs, or any uncharacterized transcripts. During the last years, different experimental workflows based on multi-omics analyses, bioinformatics, and in vitro and in vivo studies have been promoted by the Human Proteome Project Consortium to enhance the annotation of dark proteins. In this chapter, we describe a method that utilizes recombinant proteins and antibody arrays to establish a straightforward methodology in order to rapidly characterize potential functional features of dark proteins associated to intracellular signaling dynamics and extracellular immune response in human cell cultures. Further validating the method, this workflow was applied to probe changes in the activation patterns of kinases and transcription factors as well as in cytokine production modulated by the dark C1orf128 (PITHD1) protein in human olfactory neuroepithelial cells.


Mercedes Lachén-Montes, Karina Ausín, Paz Cartas-Cejudo, Joaquín Fernández-Irigoyen, Enrique Santamaría. Combination of Antibody Arrays to Functionally Characterize Dark Proteins in Human Olfactory Neuroepithelial Cells. Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.). 2021;2344:227-238

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PMID: 34115363

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