Recent advances in charting protein-protein interaction: mass spectrometry-based approaches

Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2011 Feb;22(1):42-9. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2010.09.007. Epub 2010 Oct 9.


Cellular functions are the result of the coordinated action of groups of proteins interacting in molecular assemblies or pathways. The systematic and unbiased charting of protein-protein networks in a variety of organisms has become an important challenge in systems biology. These protein-protein interaction networks contribute comprehensive cartographies of key pathways or biological processes relevant to health or disease by providing a molecular frame for the interpretation of genetic links. At a structural level protein-protein networks enabled the identification of the sequences, motifs and structural folds involved in the process of molecular recognition. A rapidly growing choice of technologies is available for the global charting of protein-protein interactions. In this review, we focus on recent developments in a suite of methods that enable the purification of protein complexes under native conditions and, in conjunction with protein mass spectrometry, identification of their constituents.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Affinity Labels
  • Amino Acid Motifs
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Mass Spectrometry / methods*
  • Models, Chemical
  • Multiprotein Complexes / analysis
  • Multiprotein Complexes / chemistry
  • Multiprotein Complexes / isolation & purification
  • Multiprotein Complexes / metabolism*
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Interaction Mapping / methods*
  • Proteins / analysis
  • Proteins / chemistry
  • Proteins / isolation & purification
  • Proteins / metabolism*
  • Systems Biology / methods


  • Affinity Labels
  • Multiprotein Complexes
  • Proteins