The availability of complete, annotated genome sequences for a variety of eukaryotic organisms has paved the way for a paradigm shift in biomedical research from the 'one gene-one hypothesis' approach to more global, systematic strategies that analyse genes or proteins on a genome- and proteome-wide scale. One daunting task in the post-genome era is to determine how the complement of expressed cellular proteins - the proteome - is organised into functional, higher-order networks, by mapping all constitutive and dynamic protein-protein interactions. Traditionally, reductionist approaches have typically focused on a few, selected gene products and their interactions in a particular physiological context. In contrast, more holistic strategies aim at understanding complex biological systems, for example global protein-protein interaction networks on a cellular or organismal level. Several large-scale proteomics technologies have been developed to generate comprehensive, cellular protein-protein interaction maps.