We are witnessing tremendous advances in our understanding of the organization of life. Complete genomes are being deciphered with ever increasing speed and accuracy, thereby setting the stage for addressing the entire gene product repertoire of cells, towards understanding whole biological systems. Advances in bioinformatics and mass spectrometric techniques have revealed the multitude of interactions present in the proteome. Multiprotein complexes are emerging as a paramount cornerstone of biological activity, as many proteins appear to participate, stably or transiently, in large multisubunit assemblies. Analysis of the architecture of these assemblies and their manifold interactions is imperative for understanding their function at the molecular level. Structural genomics efforts have fostered the development of many technologies towards achieving the throughput required for studying system-wide single proteins and small interaction motifs at high resolution. The present shift in focus towards large multiprotein complexes, in particular in eukaryotes, now calls for a likewise concerted effort to develop and provide new technologies that are urgently required to produce in quality and quantity the plethora of multiprotein assemblies that form the complexome, and to routinely study their structure and function at the molecular level. Current efforts towards this objective are summarized and reviewed in this contribution.
Keywords: Proteome, interactome, multiprotein assemblies, structural genomics, robotics, multigene expression, multi-Bac, BEVS, ACEMBL, complexomics
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