Amoutzias GD, Robertson DL and Bornberg-Bauer E
The evolution of protein interaction networks in regulatory proteins.
Comparative and Functional Genomics, 5(1): 79–84, 2004

[Online Access]


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 gamma 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.