Tahmineh Esfandani (PhD Student)
Contact Details:Email: email@example.com
Phone: +353 (0) 1 896 2873
Wiring the interactome: Enhancing predictability, testing specificity and determining the plasticity of protein interactions
Cells function and communicate through the interaction between their protein units. These interactions are key to organismal performance and are responsible for the biological diversity. Indeed, changes in organismal lifestyles can be possible through the re-wiring of interaction networks, which leads to the metabolic differentiation. Importantly, many protein-protein interactions are preserved throughout evolution owing to their importance for cell communication with the environment while others change dynamically throughout evolution. Identifying both these types of interactions is essential because: i) they highlight interactions essential for cell function regardless the organismal complexity; ii) they unveil the potential of model organisms as a source to extrapolate biological processes to humans and ii) they highlight the main evolutionary differences that led to the functional diversification of specific pathways. The understanding of these types of interactions lends the ground for the manipulation of protein interactions, which is essential in hypothesis testing, systems engineering and biomedical research. Large-scale studies of protein-protein interactions have been hampered by the lack of methods to accurately perform fast and cheap identification of interactions and by the intrinsic difficulties underlying in silico predictions. I work in a project led by Dr. Mario A. Fares and Dr. Juan Pablo Labrador in which I will join efforts from bioinformatics and functional biology approaches to circumvent these difficulties. The final aim is to develop a benchmark approach for the large-scale identification of protein-protein interactions and the wiring of the most important proteins for the communication of cells with its immediate environment in multi-cellular eukaryotes.