The MINT or Molecular Interaction database for examination of protein interaction networks has long been a favorite tool of mine. The regular “flavor” of MINT includes over 100,000 interactions with a focus on experimentally verified protein interaction data. But recently I became aware of the VirusMINT data that is now available as well.
The VirusMINT paper describes the initial emphasis on medically relevant viruses for their curation efforts, and how the work differs from efforts like this PLoS Pathogens paper and the individual virus sites like NCBI’s HIV Interactions collection and the PIG (Pathogen Interaction Gateway) site.
Manual curation of data is labor-intensive, but I really appreciate the quality of that data. Some of the data they curated themselves, and some was downloaded from existing curated sites. Once at the site for VirusMINT, it is really simple to load up a virus network by simply clicking on a virus button, and then the proteins load and generate a network interaction group. The proteins are clickable and you can find out more about the proteins and their sources, and domain information if that is available. You can also click on the numbers between the interactions to find out which paper provided the interaction data and link quickly to PubMed from there. And not only can you interact with the data using the MINT software framework, but you can download the data and use it in other tools as well.
This brief Tip-of-the-Week introduces a few of the basic features of VirusMINT. We have additional details about how to interact with the software in our full MINT tutorial.
Chatr-aryamontri, A., Ceol, A., Peluso, D., Nardozza, A., Panni, S., Sacco, F., Tinti, M., Smolyar, A., Castagnoli, L., Vidal, M., Cusick, M., & Cesareni, G. (2009). VirusMINT: a viral protein interaction database Nucleic Acids Research, 37 (Database) DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkn739
VirusMINT site directly: http://mint.bio.uniroma2.it/virusmint/Welcome.do
MINT main site directly: http://mint.bio.uniroma2.it/mint/Welcome.do