Comprehensive identification of direct, physical interactions between biological macromolecules, such as protein-protein, protein-DNA, and protein-RNA interactions, is critical for our understanding of the function of gene products as well as the global organization and interworkings of various molecular machines within the cell. The accurate and comprehensive detection of direct interactions, however, remains a huge challenge due to the inherent structural complexity arising from various post-transcriptional and translational modifications coupled with huge heterogeneity in concentration, affinity, and subcellular location differences existing for any interacting molecules. This has created a need for developing multiple orthogonal and complementary assays for detecting various types of biological interactions. In this introduction, we discuss the methods developed for measuring different types of molecular interactions with an emphasis on direct protein-protein interactions, critical issues for generating high-quality interactome datasets, and the insights into biological networks and human diseases that current interaction mapping efforts provide. Further, we will discuss what future might lie ahead for the continued evolution of two-hybrid methods and the role of interactomics for expanding the advancement of biomedical science.
Keywords: Edgetics; Interactome network; Interactomics; Protein-protein interaction; Systems biology; Two-hybrid.