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Inserm workshop: Interactomics: at the crossroads of biology and bioinformatics

30 Mar 2010 to 01 Apr 2010
Saint-Raphaël, France

Phase I • Critical assessment
March 30- April 1, 2010 • Saint-Raphaël • France

Proteins rarely act alone: they often interact with other macromolecules in order to accomplish their functions. Protein-protein interactions are therefore critical to most biological processes. Systematic approaches for identifying them have been developped over the years, such as yeast two-hybrid or affinity purification-mass spectrometry. These methods have enabled the mapping of complex interaction networks in various model organisms, which are profoundly modifying our understanding of cellular mechanisms by providing us with an integrated view of biological processes. However, due to their complexity, such networks can be intimidating and difficult to take advantage of by hypothesis-driven experimental biologists. The main difficulties are typically methodological and technical (for example knowledge and application of bioinformatics tools), but also and more fundamentally they stem from the changes in reasoning required by the systems biology approach. Protein-protein interaction networks being a very rich but neglected source of information, the workshop will present the main strengths and challenges in producing and using this data. Indeed, a better understanding of the processes, questions and solutions proposed by labs that produce and analyze interactomics data should facilitate its general use.

The topics addressed will include:

  1. identifying protein-protein interactions: high-throughput methods, validation of results, quality assessment;
  2. protein-protein interaction databases: contents, standards, direct submissions;
  3. topological and functional analysis of protein-protein interaction networks: methods and tools;
  4. application to biological questions: candidate genes, signaling, host-pathogen interactions, development, evolution.

Researchers, physicians, post-docs, technicians, engineers and students interested in the interactome approach and the analysis of existing protein-protein interaction data, in order to benefit to their own research projects.

Phase II • Technical workshop
May 2010 • Marseille

Participants will learn to use existing tools for extracting functional information from publicly available molecular interaction data. The course is aimed at two subgroups of participants, depending on their computer skills. The goal is to enable the participants to study their own results in the light of previously known biomolecular interactions.

15 participants will be selected among the phase I participants.