In this week’s Nature Biotechnology, a multi-institute team describes a new in vitro method for mapping the physical interactions between proteins and other molecules. Called PLATO, the technique involves affinity enrichment of a library of full-length open reading frames displayed on ribosomes, followed by massively parallel analysis using DNA sequencing. Using PLATO, the scientists identified known and previously undiscovered interacting partners of LYN kinase, patient autoantibodies, and two small molecule cancer drugs.
Meanwhile, in Nature Genetics, an international groups of researchers reported on the identification of a susceptibility locus for pulmonary arterial hypertension, or PAH, from a genome-wide association analysis. The investigators conducted the study based on two independent case-control studies for idiopathic and familial PAH, including 625 patients and more than 1,500 healthy individuals, and found an allele associated with two-fold greater risk of the disease.