Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Comparative and Functional Genomics
Volume 5 (2004), Issue 1, Pages 79-84
Conference review

The Evolution of Protein Interaction Networks in Regulatory Proteins

1School of Biological Sciences, University of Manchester, 2.205 Stopford Building, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PT, UK
2Bioinformatics Group, Biology Department, University of Münster, Schlossplatz 4, D-48149, Germany

Received 13 November 2003; Revised 18 November 2003; Accepted 25 November 2003

Copyright © 2004 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Interactions between proteins are essential for intracellular communication. They form complex networks which have become an important source for functional analysis of proteins. Combining phylogenies with network analysis, we investigate the evolutionary history of interaction networks from the bHLH, NR and bZIP transcription-factor families. The bHLH and NR networks show a hub-like structure with varying γ values. Mutation and gene duplication play an important role in adding and removing interactions. We conclude that in several of the protein families that we have studied, networks have primarily arisen by the development of heterodimerizing transcription factors, from an ancestral gene which interacts with any of the newly emerging proteins but also homodimerizes.