Summary

  • Knowledge of molecular interactions helps us to assign new functions to molecules with unknown roles and to draw interaction maps that can improve our knowledge of biological pathways.
  • The largest amount of interaction data available in the public domain is for protein-protein interactions; a wide variety of experimental approaches can be used to detect these.
  • There is no perfect detection method for molecular interactions. Each method has its limitations and is to an extent potentialy artefactual. Therefore, it is advisable to take complementary approaches to gain confidence that a particular interaction exists in a physiological context.
  • The two most frequently used high-throughput methods for detecting protein-protein interactions are yeast two-hybrid (Y2H) screening and affinity purification mass spectometry (AP-MS). There is a great variety of other methods, generally used for smaller-scale setups.
  • At EMBL-EBI, IntAct is the main database storing molecular interactions. IntAct is a member of the International Molecular Exchange (IMEx) Consortium, an effort to standardise curation procedures for molecular interactions and combine the work of different databases.

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