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twoday.net AGB

The first analysis of the human interactome?

The analysis of the current data on protein-protein interactions described in human by TBK Gandhi et al in the March issue of Nature Genetics delivers a fair overview - solid but yielding little surprises. The authors compare human, yeast, fly and worm networks and verify a few transfers between species experimentally.

What struck me about the manuscript is the abstract which starts with:
We present the first analysis of the human proteome with regard to interactions between proteins.
Did the work by Lehner and Fraser not analyze human interactions - it is even cited? Many other publications analyzed aspects of the human interactome on many levels, e.g. work from text mining. There are works describing first glimpses into organisms that are not readily accessible for high-throughput methods. For instance, a recent computational analysis of Plasmodium falciparum does not claim to analyze the "interactome" but limits itself to prediction of new functions using protein-protein interactions.


Then again, every step to obtain a complete picture of biological data sets is oversold traditionally. The "complete human genome" was published about five times. There were only few experimental approaches to the problem of delivering a one-dimensional sequence. Given the complexity and the plethora of methods, the "complete human interactome" will be published a hundred times.

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