Navigation Links
Researchers build largest protein interaction map to date
Date:10/27/2011

BOSTON, MA (Oct 27, 2011)Researchers have built a map that shows how thousands of proteins in a fruit fly cell communicate with each other . This is the largest and most detailed protein interaction map of a multicellular organism, demonstrating how approximately 5000, or one third, of the proteins cooperate to keep life going.

"My group has been working for decades, trying to unravel the precise connections among the proteins and gain insight into how the cell functions as a whole," says Spyros Artavanis-Tsakonas, Harvard Medical School professor of cell biology and senior author on the paper. "For me, and hopefully researchers studying protein interactions, this map is a dream come true."

The study is published October 28 in the journal Cell.

While genes are a cell's data repository, containing all the instructions necessary for life, proteins are its labor force, talking to each other constantly and channeling vital information through vast and complicated networks to keep life stable and healthy. Humans and fruit flies are both descended from a common ancestor, and in most cases, both species still rely on the same ancient cellular machinery for survival. In that respect, the fruit fly's map serves as sort of a blueprint, a useful guide into the cellular activity of many higher organisms.

Understanding how proteins behave normally is often the key to their disease-causing behaviour.

For this study, Artavanis-Tsakonas and his colleagues provide the first large-scale map of this population of proteins. Their map, which is not yet fully complete, reveals many of the relationships these myriad proteins make with each other as they collaborate, something which, to date, has been to a large degree an enduring mystery among biologists.

"We already know what approximately one-third of these proteins do," Artavanis-Tsakonas said. "For another third of them we can sort of guess. But there's another third that we know nothing about. And now through this kind of analysis we can begin to explore the functions of these proteins. This is giving us extraordinary insight into how the cell works."

One significant use for such a map is to assess how a cell responds to changes in metabolic conditions, such as interactions with drugs or in conditions where genetic alterations occur. Finding such answers might lead to future drug treatments for disease, and perhaps to a deeper understanding of what occurs in conditions such as cancer.

"This is of extraordinary translational value," Artavanis-Tsakonas said. "In order to know how the proteins work you must know who they talk to. And then you can examine whether a disease somehow alters this conversation."

A pivotal part of this research involved a scientific technique called mass spectrometry, which is relatively new to the science of biology. The ultra-precise mass spectrometry experiments were done by HMS professor of cell biology Steven Gygi. Mass spectrometry is used to measure the exact weight (the mass) and thus identify each individual protein in a sample. It is a technique originally devised by physicists for analyzing atomic particles. But in recent years mass spectrometry was adapted and refined for new and powerful uses in basic biological research. Other studies using similar techniques to date have focussed on small groups of related proteins or single celled model organisms such as bacteria and yeast.

Despite the huge amount already known about the fruit fly and its genetic endowment, much about the function of thousands of proteins remains a mystery. This map, however, now gives us precice clues about their function. Filling in the detailed protein map can help scientists gain important insights into the process of development, that is, how a creature is put together, maintained and operated.

"Our analyses also sheds light on how proteins and protein networks have evolved in different animals," said K. G. Guruharsha, a postdoctoral fellow in Artavanis-Tsakonas's lab and a first author on the paper.

Co-lead authors on the paper included Jean-Francois Rual, also a postdoctoral fellow in Artavanis-Tsakonas's lab, and Julian Mintseris and Bo Zhai, both research fellows in Gygi's lab.

Also important in this effort was the work of K. VijayRaghavan, at the National Centre for Biological Sciences in Bangalore, India. Similarly, crucial contributions to this work also came from the University of California, in Berkeley, where Susan E. Celniker collaborated through her studies in the fruit fly genome center.


'/>"/>

Contact: David Cameron
david_cameron@hms.harvard.edu
617-432-0441
Harvard Medical School
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. WSU researchers demonstrate rare animal model for studying depression
2. UC Davis researchers discover complexities of DNA repair
3. Researchers generate first complete 3-D structures of bacterial chromosome
4. Researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center review the microbiome and its possible role in cancers
5. Researchers discover that same gene has opposite effects in prostate, breast cancers
6. Researchers do precise gene therapy without a needle
7. Researchers explore planktons shifting role in deep sea carbon storage
8. Stanford researchers examine impact of green politics on recent national elections
9. NIH grant will allow researchers to look for viral cause of most severe form of multiple sclerosis
10. UNH researchers receive NSF grant to scale up stream ecology
11. Medical College of Wisconsin researchers show molecule inhibits metastasis
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/9/2016)... 9, 2016  Crossmatch ® , a leading ... today announced the addition of smart features to ... multi-factor authentication platform. New contextual and application-specific authentication ... security where it,s needed most — while minimizing ... . --> Washington, DC ...
(Date:3/3/2016)... and DE SOTO, Kansas , March ... Detection Plus® to offer Oncimmune,s Early CDT®-Lung, a ... early detection of lung cancer Early CDT®-Lung ... and individuals. --> Early CDT®-Lung test to ... --> Oncimmune, a leader in early cancer ...
(Date:3/1/2016)... , March 1, 2016  (RSAC Booth #3041) – ... a whopping $118 billion is lost to false positives, ... and inaccurate fraud detection. At the RSA Conference 2016, ... way companies handle authentication by devaluing the data fraudsters ... analytics. --> --> ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/28/2016)... , ... April 28, 2016 , ... ... will hold an open house for regional manufacturers at its Maple Grove, Minnesota ... Tsugami, Okuma, Hardinge Group, Chiron and Trumpf. Almost 20 leading suppliers of ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... April 27, 2016 , ... Shimadzu Scientific Instruments (SSI) will ... Marijuana Business Conference and Expo. Shimadzu’s high-performance instruments enable laboratories to test cannabis ... attendees can stop by booth 1021 to learn how Shimadzu’s instruments can help ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... April 27, 2016 , ... Most consumers engage with biometrics ... for secure access, voice recognition for hands-free communication, and facial recognition to help ... biometrics technology today. But if they asked Joey Pritikin, Vice President of ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. , April ... UTHR ) announced today that Martine Rothblatt , ... will provide an overview and update on the company,s ... Health Care Conference. The presentation will take ... Eastern Time, and can be accessed via a live ...
Breaking Biology Technology: