High confidence determination of specific protein-protein interactions using quantitative mass spectrometry

Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2008 Aug;19(4):331-7. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2008.06.001. Epub 2008 Jul 11.


In recent years, interactions between proteins have successfully been determined by mass spectrometry. A limitation of this technology has been the need for extensive purification, which restricts throughput and implies a tradeoff between specificity and the ability to detect weak or transient interactions. Quantitative proteomics sidesteps this problem by directly comparing specific and control pull-downs. Specific interaction partners are revealed by their quantitative ratios rather than by gel-based visualization and can be retrieved from a vast excess of background proteins. This principle is revolutionizing the protein interaction field as demonstrated by recent applications in fields as diverse as tyrosine signaling pathways, cell adhesion, and chromatin biology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Protein Binding
  • Proteins / metabolism*
  • Proteomics


  • Proteins