Genetic analysis has been a very successful tool in modern biology. We have now identified the genes responsible for important cellular and developmental processes in many organisms and, in many fields, attention is being focused on determining the molecular function of the proteins these genes encode. Y2H is a mature technology to determine molecular interactions between proteins.
Two major advantages of this system are its accessibility to laboratories with expertise in molecular genetics (the only starting materials required are cDNA clones of the genes of interest) and, because the protocols are largely the same for all proteins regardless of the species of origin, the ability to perform experiments in a high throughput environment. A major disadvantage of the Y2H technology is it requires a great deal of work to set up (it requires a many types of media, suitable libraries, and expertise in large-scale yeast transformation). Once established, however, it is relatively little work to perform additional assays. Therefore, the Indiana METACyt Initiative of Indiana University, funded in part through a major grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc., has provided funding for the establishment of a yeast-two-hybrid interaction facility at Indiana University.