The study of protein-protein interactions by mass spectrometry is an increasingly important part of post-genomics strategies to understand protein function. A variety of mass spectrometrybased approaches allow characterization of cellular protein assemblies under near-physiological conditions and subsequent assignment of individual proteins to specific molecular machines, pathways and networks, according to an increasing level of organizational complexity. An appropriate analytical strategy can be individually tailoredfrom an in-depth analysis of single complexes to a large-scale characterization of entire molecular pathways or even an analysis of the molecular organization of entire expressed proteomes. Here we review different options regarding protein-complex purification strategies, mass spectrometry analysis and bioinformatic methods according to the specific question that is being addressed.
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