Protein-protein interaction networks studies and importance of 3D structure knowledge

Expert Rev Proteomics. 2013 Dec;10(6):511-20. doi: 10.1586/14789450.2013.856764.


Protein-protein interaction networks (PPINs) are a powerful tool to study biological processes in living cells. In this review, we present the progress of PPIN studies from abstract to more detailed representations. We will focus on 3D interactome networks, which offer detailed information at the atomic level. This information can be exploited in understanding not only the underlying cellular mechanisms, but also how human variants and disease-causing mutations affect protein functions and complexes' stability. Recent studies have used structural information on PPINs to also understand the molecular mechanisms of binding partner selection. We will address the challenges in generating 3D PPINs due to the restricted number of solved protein structures. Finally, some of the current use of 3D PPINs will be discussed, highlighting their contribution to the studies in genotype-phenotype relationships and in the optimization of targeted studies to design novel chemical compounds for medical treatments.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Binding Sites
  • Humans
  • Mutation
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Interaction Maps*
  • Proteins / chemistry
  • Proteins / genetics
  • Proteins / metabolism*
  • Proteomics / methods


  • Proteins