Now that all of the 22,000 protein-coding human genes have been sequenced, researchers want to know which of these proteins interact with each other. Marc Vidal and colleagues have taken an initial step towards addressing this issue and report their findings in the 29 September 2005 issue of Nature (Vol. 437, No. 7059).
They analysed the interactions between 8,100 proteins and detected 2,800 interactions, revealing more than 300 new connections to over 100 disease-associated proteins. Seventy-eight percent of the interactions could be verified using a second, different biochemical method.
The authors concluded from a literature search that 85 per cent of the identified interactions are novel while comparison with curated databases suggests that 96% of the identified interactions are novel. The study may also yield insight into the way protein interactions change throughout evolution, the authors say. They found that proteins of the same evolutionary level are more likely to interact with each other. For example, human-specific proteins are more likely to interact with each other than with proteins found in all multicellular animals.
There is still a long way to go towards establishing a complete interaction database of all human proteins. The study identifies one per cent of the entire human 'interactome,' the authors estimate.
Marc Vidal (Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA, USA)
Abstract available online.
(C) Nature press release.
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