The systematic identification of protein-protein interactions (PPI) in humans has been a key area in biomedical research and several related databases have appeared in recent years. Considering the large differences in content between them, it has been noted that a unified resource could be of particular importance.
An in press paper in Nucleic Acid Research describes one of these enhanced tools: UniHI 4. UniHI 4 is a web server integrating available human PPI data, it includes over 250.000 interactions between more than 22.000 proteins, which are coming from 14 distinct primary sources (reporting results from both experimentally validated and computationally predicted approaches).
It accepts different types of identifiers as input (Entrez Gene, Uniprot, NCBI Geneinfo, Ensembl, Biogrid and HPRD IDs) and delivers a graphical visualization of the network of interactions of interest and the possibility to filter it (according to the types of interactions). Two additional tools are available for further detailed analysis. UniHI Express allows for the search of tissue-specific interaction networks (incorporating available genome-wide expression data) and UniHI Scanner allows for the comparison of PPIs with known signalling pathways (using data from the KEGG pathways).
This online tool can be helpful for the researchers exploring PPIs related to gene products of interest and for the identification of the potential underlying signaling networks and their topologies.
Author: Matthias E. Futschik, Center for Molecular and Structural Biomedicine, University of Algarve, Faro, Portugal. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chaurasia G, Malhotra S, Russ J, Schnoegl S, Hänig C, Wanker EE, Futschik ME. UniHI 4: new tools for query, analysis and visualization of the human protein-protein interactome. Nucleic Acids Res. 2008, in press.
Paper available online.
The UniHI 4 server is available at the UniHI 4 website.
Message posted by: Diego Forero