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Mol Cell Proteomics. 2013 Jun;12(6):1723-34. doi: 10.1074/mcp.O112.019828. Epub 2013 Feb 25.

Predicting physical interactions between protein complexes.

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  • 1Department of Tumor Biology, Institute for Cancer Research, The Norwegian Radium Hospital and Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway.


Protein complexes enact most biochemical functions in the cell. Dynamic interactions between protein complexes are frequent in many cellular processes. As they are often of a transient nature, they may be difficult to detect using current genome-wide screens. Here, we describe a method to computationally predict physical interactions between protein complexes, applied to both humans and yeast. We integrated manually curated protein complexes and physical protein interaction networks, and we designed a statistical method to identify pairs of protein complexes where the number of protein interactions between a complex pair is due to an actual physical interaction between the complexes. An evaluation against manually curated physical complex-complex interactions in yeast revealed that 50% of these interactions could be predicted in this manner. A community network analysis of the highest scoring pairs revealed a biologically sensible organization of physical complex-complex interactions in the cell. Such analyses of proteomes may serve as a guide to the discovery of novel functional cellular relationships.

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