Mass-spectrometry-based proteomics has become an important component of biological research. Numerous proteomics methods have been developed to identify and quantify the proteins in biological and clinical samples1, identify pathways affected by endogenous and exogenous perturbations2, and characterize protein complexes3. Despite successes, the interpretation of vast proteomics datasets remains a challenge. There have been several calls for improvements and standardization of proteomics data analysis frameworks, as well as for an application-programming interface for proteomics data access4,5. In response, we have developed the ProteoWizard Toolkit, a robust set of open-source, software libraries and applications designed to facilitate proteomics research. The libraries implement the first-ever, non-commercial, unified data access interface for proteomics, bridging field-standard open formats and all common vendor formats. In addition, diverse software classes enable rapid development of vendor-agnostic proteomics software. Additionally, ProteoWizard projects and applications, building upon the core libraries, are becoming standard tools for enabling significant proteomics inquiries.
The ProteomeXchange (PX) Consortium of proteomics resources (http://www.proteomexchange.org) was formally started in 2011 to standardize data submission and dissemination of mass spectrometry proteomics data worldwide. We give an overview of the current consortium activities and describe the advances of the past few years. Augmenting the PX founding members (PRIDE and PeptideAtlas, including the PASSEL resource), two new members have joined the consortium: MassIVE and jPOST. ProteomeCentral remains as the common data access portal, providing the ability to search for data sets in all participating PX resources, now with enhanced data visualization components.We describe the updated submission guidelines, now expanded to include four members instead of two. As demonstrated by data submission statistics, PX is supporting a change in culture of the proteomics field: public data sharing is now an accepted standard, supported by requirements for journal submissions resulting in public data release becoming the norm. More than 4500 data sets have been submitted to the various PX resources since 2012. Human is the most represented species with approximately half of the data sets, followed by some of the main model organisms and a growing list of more than 900 diverse species. Data reprocessing activities are becoming more prominent, with both MassIVE and PeptideAtlas releasing the results of reprocessed data sets. Finally, we outline the upcoming advances for ProteomeXchange.
The Trans-Proteomic Pipeline (TPP) is a suite of software tools for the analysis of MS/MS data sets. The tools encompass most of the steps in a proteomic data analysis workflow in a single, integrated software system. Specifically, the TPP supports all steps from spectrometer output file conversion to protein-level statistical validation, including quantification by stable isotope ratios. We describe here the full workflow of the TPP and the tools therein, along with an example on a sample data set, demonstrating that the setup and use of the tools are straightforward and well supported and do not require specialized informatic resources or knowledge.
The completion of the sequencing of the human genome and the concurrent, rapid development of high-throughput proteomic methods have resulted in an increasing need for automated approaches to archive proteomic data in a repository that enables the exchange of data among researchers and also accurate integration with genomic data. PeptideAtlas () addresses these needs by identifying peptides by tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS), statistically validating those identifications and then mapping identified sequences to the genomes of eukaryotic organisms. A meaningful comparison of data across different experiments generated by different groups using different types of instruments is enabled by the implementation of a uniform analytic process. This uniform statistical validation ensures a consistent and high-quality set of peptide and protein identifications. The raw data from many diverse proteomic experiments are made available in the associated PeptideAtlas repository in several formats. Here we present a summary of our process and details about the Human, Drosophila and Yeast PeptideAtlas builds.
A notable inefficiency of shotgun proteomics experiments is the repeated rediscovery of the same identifiable peptides by sequence database searching methods, which often are time-consuming and error-prone. A more precise and efficient method, in which previously observed and identified peptide MS/MS spectra are catalogued and condensed into searchable spectral libraries to allow new identifications by spectral matching, is seen as a promising alternative. To that end, an open-source, functionally complete, high-throughput and readily extensible MS/MS spectral searching tool, SpectraST, was developed. A high-quality spectral library was constructed by combining the high-confidence identifications of millions of spectra taken from various data repositories and searched using four sequence search engines. The resulting library consists of over 30 000 spectra for Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Using this library, SpectraST vastly outperforms the sequence search engine SEQUEST in terms of speed and the ability to discriminate good and bad hits. A unique advantage of SpectraST is its full integration into the popular Trans Proteomic Pipeline suite of software, which facilitates user adoption and provides important functionalities such as peptide and protein probability assignment, quantification, and data visualization. This method of spectral library searching is especially suited for targeted proteomics applications, offering superior performance to traditional sequence searching.
Adoption of targeted mass spectrometry (MS) approaches such as multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) to study biological and biomedical questions is well underway in the proteomics community. Successful application depends on the ability to generate reliable assays that uniquely and confidently identify target peptides in a sample. Unfortunately, there is a wide range of criteria being applied to say that an assay has been successfully developed. There is no consensus on what criteria are acceptable and little understanding of the impact of variable criteria on the quality of the results generated. Publications describing targeted MS assays for peptides frequently do not contain sufficient information for readers to establish confidence that the tests work as intended or to be able to apply the tests described in their own labs. Guidance must be developed so that targeted MS assays with established performance can be made widely distributed and applied by many labs worldwide. To begin to address the problems and their solutions, a workshop was held at the National Institutes of Health with representatives from the multiple communities developing and employing targeted MS assays. Participants discussed the analytical goals of their experiments From the ‡Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, Massachusetts; §Eli
Mass spectrometry is a fundamental tool for discovery and analysis in the life sciences. With the rapid advances in mass spectrometry technology and methods, it has become imperative to provide a standard output format for mass spectrometry data that will facilitate data sharing and analysis. Initially, the efforts to develop a standard format for mass spectrometry data resulted in multiple formats, each designed with a different underlying philosophy. To resolve the issues associated with having multiple formats, vendors, researchers, and software developers convened under the banner of the HUPO PSI to develop a single standard. The new data format incorporated many of the desirable technical attributes from the previous data formats, while adding a number of improvements, including features such as a controlled vocabulary with validation tools to ensure consistent usage of the format, improved support for selected reaction monitoring data, and immediately available implementations to facilitate rapid adoption by the community. The resulting standard data format, mzML, is a well tested open-source format for mass spectrometer output files that can be readily utilized by the community and easily adapted for incremental advances in mass spectrometry technology.
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