PIANA (Protein Interactions And Network Analysis) is a new software framework and tool developed by the GRIB researcher Ramon Aragüés, from the Structural Bioinformatics research group. This new software facilitates working with protein interaction networks by 1) integrating data from multiple sources, 2) providing a library that handles graph-related tasks and 3) automating the analysis of protein-protein interaction networks. PIANA can also be used as a standalone application to create protein interaction networks and perform tasks such as predicting protein interactions and helping to identify spots in a 2D electrophoresis gel.
The analysis of protein interaction networks is fundamental to the understanding of cellular processes. Furthermore, protein interaction networks are being used in tasks such as assignment of function to uncharacterized proteins and searching for remote similarities between proteins. Most of the tools developed to work with protein-protein interaction networks are focused on visualizing the networks, while a few of them have analytic capabilities. PIANA is different to most other tools in that 1) it is also a framework in which developers can base their applications, 2) it integrates most protein and interaction databases into a single repository, 3) it performs analyses not provided by other tools.
PIANA is distributed for free under the GNU General Public License, which implies unlimited access to all code and documentation.