Abstract

Protein–protein interactions, or PPIs, constitute a basic unit of our understanding of protein function. Though substantial effort has been made to organize PPI knowledge into structured databases, maintenance of these resources requires careful manual curation. Even then, many PPIs remain uncurated within unstructured text data. Extracting PPIs from experimental research supports assembly of PPI networks and highlights relationships crucial to elucidating protein functions. Isolating specific protein–protein relationships from numerous documents is technically demanding by both manual and automated means. Recent advances in the design of these methods have leveraged emerging computational developments and have demonstrated impressive results on test datasets. In this review, we discuss recent developments in PPI extraction from unstructured biomedical text. We explore the historical context of these developments, recent strategies for integrating and comparing PPI data, and their application to advancing the understanding of protein function. Finally, we describe the challenges facing the application of PPI mining to the text concerning protein families, using the multifunctional 14-3-3 protein family as an example.

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