Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Comparative Interactomics on the rise

I am sorry for the buzzwords but I just wanted to make the point of the exaggerated trend. Following the post on Notes from the Biomass I picked up the paper from Gandhi et al in Nature Genetics. The authors analyzed the human interactome from the Human Protein Reference Database, comparing it to other protein interaction networks from different species. Honestly I was a bit surprised to see so few new ideas on the paper and I agree with the post in Notes that they should have cited some previous works. For example the paper by Cesareni et al in FEBS Letters includes a similar analysis between S. cerevisiae and D. melanogaster. Also the people working on PathBlast have shown that maybe it is more informative to look for conserved sub-networks instead of the overlap between binary-interactions. I am personally very interested in network evolution and I was hoping the authors would elaborate a bit more on the subject. As usual they just dismiss the small overlap to low coverage. Is it so obvious that species that diverged 900My to 1By ago should have such similar networks ?

Like it was the case with comparative genomics, the ability to compare cellular interaction networks of different species should be far more informative than looking at individual maps. Unfortunately it is still not so easy to map a cellular interaction network has it is to get a genome.

Just out of curiosity, I think the first time the buzz words "comparative interactomics" were used in a journal was in a news and views by Uetz and Pankratz in 2004. Since then I think two papers picked up on the term, as you can see in this pubmed search (might change with time).