The Proteins Came in Three by Three

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Science's STKE  04 Jan 2005:
Vol. 2005, Issue 265, pp. tw11
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2652005tw11

Maps of protein interaction networks provide a kind of blueprint of cellular functions. Comparing the presence or absence of a pair of proteins in various species can provide clues to functional associations in such networks. Bowers et al. take such logic a step further and examine the presence of groups of three proteins in 67 sequenced genomes. A search for logical relations between the three (for example, A is present only if B and C are also present) revealed 750,000 new relations between protein family members. These and higher order logical relations may be useful in modeling, engineering, and understanding biological systems.

P. M. Bowers, S. J. Cokus, D. Eisenberg, T. O. Yeates, Use of logic relationships to decipher protein network organization. Science 306, 2246-2249 (2004). [Abstract] [Full Text]