Multi-scale perturbations of protein interactomes reveal their mechanisms of regulation, robustness and insights into genotype–phenotype maps

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Cellular architectures and signaling machineries are organized through protein–protein interactions (PPIs). High-throughput methods to study PPIs in yeast have opened a new perspective on the organization of the cell by allowing the study of whole protein interactomes. Recent investigations have moved from the description of this organization to the analysis of its dynamics by experimenting how protein interaction networks (PINs) are rewired in response to perturbations. Here we review studies that have used the budding yeast as an experimental system to explore these altered networks. Given the large space of possible PPIs and the diversity of potential genetic and environmental perturbations, high-throughput methods are an essential requirement to survey PIN perturbations on a large scale. Network perturbations are typically conceptualized as the removal of entire proteins (nodes), the modification of single PPIs (edges) or changes in growth conditions. These studies have revealed mechanisms of PPI regulation, PIN architectural organization, robustness and sensitivity to perturbations. Despite these major advances, there are still inherent limits to current technologies that lead to a trade-off between the number of perturbations and the number of PPIs that can be considered simultaneously. Nevertheless, as we exemplify here, targeted approaches combined with the existing resources remain extremely powerful to explore the inner organization of cells and their responses to perturbations.

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