The new web-based interface includes a number of improvements and enhancements allowing a more efficient database exploration. Most notably, the query can be based on protein or gene names, UniProt keywords or identifiers of external databases: UniProtKB, PDB, Ensembl, FlyBase, SGD, WormBase, OMIM, HUGE, PubMed and Reactome. It is also possible to query species specific datasets (mammalian, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Caemorhabaditis elegans, Drosophila melanogaster, viruses). Finally, a sequence similarity search (BLAST) can also be performed to search for proteins which are homologous to the query protein.
The query results are displayed in a table showing in the left frame a summary of the protein features reported in UniProt and, in the right frame, the list of the interaction partners curated in MINT. The interactions can be displayed graphically by an enhanced version of the ‘MINT viewer’, a Java applet derived from the applet Graph (http://java.sun.com
). The viewer represents the interactions by lines (edges) and nodes (proteins), and assigns the nodes a size proportional to the protein's molecular weight and a color which depends on the species. The graph displayed by the viewer can be expanded and edited interactively by moving or deleting nodes. Proteins linked to OMIM are now highlighted in red. In order to attribute a reliability index to the reported interactions, we have also assigned each interaction a confidence level
, based on the experimental detection method and experimental conditions. The results of the analysis performed in the MINT viewer can be captured in different formats ready for export: PSI1.0-XML, PSI2.5-XML, flat-file, Osprey.
MINT is now also complemented by HomoMINT (7
), an inferred human protein interaction network where interactions discovered in model organisms (and collected in MINT) are mapped onto the corresponding human orthologs. Through the MINT web pages it is also possible to search the HomoMINT dataset for inferred interactions.
A web service allows direct computational access so as to freely retrieve interaction networks in different formats: flat-file, PSI1.0-XML, PSI2.5-XML. It is also possible to download specific subsets of the database based on the taxonomy of the interactors.