Characterization and evolutionary analysis of protein-protein interaction networks.
ABSTRACT While researchers have known the importance of the protein-protein interaction for decades, recent innovations in large-scale screening techniques have caused a shift in the paradigm of protein function analysis. Where the focus was once on the individual protein, attention is now directed to the surrounding network of protein associations. As protein interaction networks can provide useful insights into the potential function of and phenotypes associated with proteins, the increasing availability of large-scale protein interaction data suggests that molecular biologists can extract more meaningful hypotheses through examination of these large networks. Further, increasing availability of high-quality protein interaction data in multiple species has allowed interpretation of the properties of networks (i.e., the presence of hubs and modularity) from an evolutionary perspective. In this chapter, we discuss major previous findings derived from analyses of large-scale protein interaction data, focusing on approaches taken by landmark assays in evaluating the structure and evolution of these networks. We then outline basic techniques for protein interaction network analysis with the goal of pointing out the benefits and potential limitations of these approaches. As the majority of large-scale protein interaction data has been generated in budding yeast, literature described here focuses on this important model organism with references to other species included where possible.