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1.  An Assessment of Current Bioinformatic Solutions for Analyzing LC-MS data Acquired by Selected Reaction Monitoring Technology 
Proteomics  2012;12(8):10.1002/pmic.201100571.
Selected reaction monitoring (SRM) is an accurate quantitative technique, typically used for small-molecule mass spectrometry (MS). SRM has emerged as an important technique for targeted and hypothesis-driven proteomic research, and is becoming the reference method for protein quantification in complex biological samples. SRM offers high selectivity, a lower limit of detection and improved reproducibility, compared to conventional shot-gun based tandem MS (LC-MS/MS) methods. Unlike LC-MS/MS, which requires computationally intensive informatic post-analysis, SRM requires pre-acquisition bioinformatic analysis to determine proteotypic peptides and optimal transitions to uniquely identify and to accurately quantitate proteins of interest. Extensive arrays of bioinformatics software tools, both web-based and stand-alone, have been published to assist researchers to determine optimal peptides and transition sets. The transitions are oftentimes selected based on preferred precursor charge state, peptide molecular weight, hydrophobicity, fragmentation pattern at a given collision energy (CE), and instrumentation chosen. Validation of the selected transitions for each peptide is critical since peptide performance varies depending on the mass spectrometer used. In this review, we provide an overview of open source and commercial bioinformatic tools for analyzing LC-MS data acquired by SRM.
doi:10.1002/pmic.201100571
PMCID: PMC3857306  PMID: 22577019
Bioinformatics; Mass Spectrometry; Selected Reaction Monitoring; Transition
2.  PASSEL: The PeptideAtlas SRM Experiment Library 
Proteomics  2012;12(8):10.1002/pmic.201100515.
Public repositories for proteomics data have accelerated proteomics research by enabling more efficient cross-analyses of datasets, supporting the creation of protein and peptide compendia of experimental results, supporting the development and testing of new software tools, and facilitating the manuscript review process. The repositories available to date have been designed to accommodate either shotgun experiments or generic proteomic data files. Here, we describe a new kind of proteomic data repository for the collection and representation of data from selected reaction monitoring (SRM) measurements. The PeptideAtlas SRM Experiment Library (PASSEL) allows researchers to easily submit proteomic data sets generated by SRM. The raw data are automatically processed in a uniform manner and the results are stored in a database, where they may be downloaded or browsed via a web interface that includes a chromatogram viewer. PASSEL enables cross-analysis of SRM data, supports optimization of SRM data collection, and facilitates the review process of SRM data. Further, PASSEL will help in the assessment of proteotypic peptide performance in a wide array of samples containing the same peptide, as well as across multiple experimental protocols.
doi:10.1002/pmic.201100515
PMCID: PMC3832291  PMID: 22318887
data repository; MRM; software; SRM; targeted proteomics
3.  A Cross-platform Toolkit for Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics 
Nature biotechnology  2012;30(10):918-920.
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.
doi:10.1038/nbt.2377
PMCID: PMC3471674  PMID: 23051804
4.  Recommendations for Mass Spectrometry Data Quality Metrics for Open Access Data (Corollary to the Amsterdam Principles) 
Journal of Proteome Research  2011;11(2):1412-1419.
Policies supporting the rapid and open sharing of proteomic data are being implemented by the leading journals in the field. The proteomics community is taking steps to ensure that data are made publicly accessible and are of high quality, a challenging task that requires the development and deployment of methods for measuring and documenting data quality metrics. On September 18, 2010, the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) convened the “International Workshop on Proteomic Data Quality Metrics” in Sydney, Australia, to identify and address issues facing the development and use of such methods for open access proteomics data. The stakeholders at the workshop enumerated the key principles underlying a framework for data quality assessment in mass spectrometry data that will meet the needs of the research community, journals, funding agencies, and data repositories. Attendees discussed and agreed up on two primary needs for the wide use of quality metrics: (1) an evolving list of comprehensive quality metrics and (2) standards accompanied by software analytics. Attendees stressed the importance of increased education and training programs to promote reliable protocols in proteomics. This workshop report explores the historic precedents, key discussions, and necessary next steps to enhance the quality of open access data.
By agreement, this article is published simultaneously in the Journal of Proteome Research, Molecular and Cellular Proteomics, Proteomics, and Proteomics Clinical Applications as a public service to the research community. The peer review process was a coordinated effort conducted by a panel of referees selected by the journals.
doi:10.1021/pr201071t
PMCID: PMC3272102  PMID: 22053864
selected reaction monitoring; bioinformatics; data quality; metrics; open access; Amsterdam Principles; standards
5.  The Protein Information and Property Explorer 2: Gaggle-like exploration of biological proteomic data within one webpage 
Proteomics  2010;11(1):154-158.
The Protein Information and Property Explorer 2 (PIPE2) is an enhanced software program and updated web application that aims at providing the proteomic researcher a simple, intuitive user interface through which to begin inquiry into the biological significance of a list of proteins typically produced by MS/MS proteomic processing software. PIPE2 includes an improved interface, new data visualization options, and new data analysis methods for combining disparate, but related, data sets. In particular, PIPE2 has been enhanced to handle multi-dimensional data like protein abundance, gene expression, and/or interaction data. The current architecture of PIPE2, modeled after that of the Gaggle (a programming infrastructure for interoperability between separately developed software tools), contains independent functional units that can be instantiated and pieced together at the user’s discretion to form a pipelined analysis workflow. Among these functional units is the Network Viewer component, which adds rich network analysis capabilities to the suite of existing proteomic web resources. Additionally, PIPE2 implements a framework within which new analysis procedures can be easily deployed and distributed over the World Wide Web. PIPE2 is available as a web service at http://pipe2.systemsbiology.net/.
doi:10.1002/pmic.201000459
PMCID: PMC3072271  PMID: 21182202
Interaction networks; Biological inference; Gene ontology; Software analysis
6.  TraML—A Standard Format for Exchange of Selected Reaction Monitoring Transition Lists* 
Molecular & Cellular Proteomics : MCP  2011;11(4):R111.015040.
Targeted proteomics via selected reaction monitoring is a powerful mass spectrometric technique affording higher dynamic range, increased specificity and lower limits of detection than other shotgun mass spectrometry methods when applied to proteome analyses. However, it involves selective measurement of predetermined analytes, which requires more preparation in the form of selecting appropriate signatures for the proteins and peptides that are to be targeted. There is a growing number of software programs and resources for selecting optimal transitions and the instrument settings used for the detection and quantification of the targeted peptides, but the exchange of this information is hindered by a lack of a standard format. We have developed a new standardized format, called TraML, for encoding transition lists and associated metadata. In addition to introducing the TraML format, we demonstrate several implementations across the community, and provide semantic validators, extensive documentation, and multiple example instances to demonstrate correctly written documents. Widespread use of TraML will facilitate the exchange of transitions, reduce time spent handling incompatible list formats, increase the reusability of previously optimized transitions, and thus accelerate the widespread adoption of targeted proteomics via selected reaction monitoring.
doi:10.1074/mcp.R111.015040
PMCID: PMC3322582  PMID: 22159873
7.  Phosphoproteomic Analysis Reveals Interconnected System-Wide Responses to Perturbations of Kinases and Phosphatases in Yeast 
Science signaling  2010;3(153):rs4.
The phosphorylation and dephosphorylation of proteins by kinases and phosphatases constitute an essential regulatory network in eukaryotic cells. This network supports the flow of information from sensors through signaling systems to effector molecules, and ultimately drives the phenotype and function of cells, tissues, and organisms. Dysregulation of this process has severe consequences and is one of the main factors in the emergence and progression of diseases, including cancer. Thus, major efforts have been invested in developing specific inhibitors that modulate the activity of individual kinases or phosphatases; however, it has been difficult to assess how such pharmacological interventions would affect the cellular signaling network as a whole. Here, we used label-free, quantitative phosphoproteomics in a systematically perturbed model organism (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) to determine the relationships between 97 kinases, 27 phosphatases, and more than 1000 phosphoproteins. We identified 8814 regulated phosphorylation events, describing the first system-wide protein phosphorylation network in vivo. Our results show that, at steady state, inactivation of most kinases and phosphatases affected large parts of the phosphorylation-modulated signal transduction machinery, and not only the immediate downstream targets. The observed cellular growth phenotype was often well maintained despite the perturbations, arguing for considerable robustness in the system. Our results serve to constrain future models of cellular signaling and reinforce the idea that simple linear representations of signaling pathways might be insufficient for drug development and for describing organismal homeostasis.
doi:10.1126/scisignal.2001182
PMCID: PMC3072779  PMID: 21177495
8.  ATAQS: A computational software tool for high throughput transition optimization and validation for selected reaction monitoring mass spectrometry 
BMC Bioinformatics  2011;12:78.
Background
Since its inception, proteomics has essentially operated in a discovery mode with the goal of identifying and quantifying the maximal number of proteins in a sample. Increasingly, proteomic measurements are also supporting hypothesis-driven studies, in which a predetermined set of proteins is consistently detected and quantified in multiple samples. Selected reaction monitoring (SRM) is a targeted mass spectrometric technique that supports the detection and quantification of specific proteins in complex samples at high sensitivity and reproducibility. Here, we describe ATAQS, an integrated software platform that supports all stages of targeted, SRM-based proteomics experiments including target selection, transition optimization and post acquisition data analysis. This software will significantly facilitate the use of targeted proteomic techniques and contribute to the generation of highly sensitive, reproducible and complete datasets that are particularly critical for the discovery and validation of targets in hypothesis-driven studies in systems biology.
Result
We introduce a new open source software pipeline, ATAQS (Automated and Targeted Analysis with Quantitative SRM), which consists of a number of modules that collectively support the SRM assay development workflow for targeted proteomic experiments (project management and generation of protein, peptide and transitions and the validation of peptide detection by SRM). ATAQS provides a flexible pipeline for end-users by allowing the workflow to start or end at any point of the pipeline, and for computational biologists, by enabling the easy extension of java algorithm classes for their own algorithm plug-in or connection via an external web site.
This integrated system supports all steps in a SRM-based experiment and provides a user-friendly GUI that can be run by any operating system that allows the installation of the Mozilla Firefox web browser.
Conclusions
Targeted proteomics via SRM is a powerful new technique that enables the reproducible and accurate identification and quantification of sets of proteins of interest. ATAQS is the first open-source software that supports all steps of the targeted proteomics workflow. ATAQS also provides software API (Application Program Interface) documentation that enables the addition of new algorithms to each of the workflow steps. The software, installation guide and sample dataset can be found in http://tools.proteomecenter.org/ATAQS/ATAQS.html
doi:10.1186/1471-2105-12-78
PMCID: PMC3213215  PMID: 21414234
9.  Differential Plasma Glycoproteome of p19ARF Skin Cancer Mouse Model Using the Corra Label-Free LC-MS Proteomics Platform 
Clinical proteomics  2008;4(3-4):105.
A proof-of-concept demonstration of the use of label-free quantitative glycoproteomics for biomarker discovery workflow is presented here, using a mouse model for skin cancer as an example. Blood plasma was collected from 10 control mice, and 10 mice having a mutation in the p19ARF gene, conferring them high propensity to develop skin cancer after carcinogen exposure. We enriched for N-glycosylated plasma proteins, ultimately generating deglycosylated forms of the modified tryptic peptides for liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS) analyses. LC-MS runs for each sample were then performed with a view to identifying proteins that were differentially abundant between the two mouse populations. We then used a recently developed computational framework, Corra, to perform peak picking and alignment, and to compute the statistical significance of any observed changes in individual peptide abundances. Once determined, the most discriminating peptide features were then fragmented and identified by tandem mass spectrometry with the use of inclusion lists. We next assessed the identified proteins to see if there were sets of proteins indicative of specific biological processes that correlate with the presence of disease, and specifically cancer, according to their functional annotations. As expected for such sick animals, many of the proteins identified were related to host immune response. However, a significant number of proteins also directly associated with processes linked to cancer development, including proteins related to the cell cycle, localisation, trasport, and cell death. Additional analysis of the same samples in profiling mode, and in triplicate, confirmed that replicate MS analysis of the same plasma sample generated less variation than that observed between plasma samples from different individuals, demonstrating that the reproducibility of the LC-MS platform was sufficient for this application. These results thus show that an LC-MS-based workflow can be a useful tool for the generation of candidate proteins of interest as part of a disease biomarker discovery effort.
doi:10.1007/s12014-008-9018-8
PMCID: PMC2821048  PMID: 20157627
Skin cancer; LC-MS; Label-free protein quantification; Biomarker discovery; Systems biology; Targeted peptide sequencing; Glycoproteomics; Plasma
10.  Corra: Computational framework and tools for LC-MS discovery and targeted mass spectrometry-based proteomics 
BMC Bioinformatics  2008;9:542.
Background
Quantitative proteomics holds great promise for identifying proteins that are differentially abundant between populations representing different physiological or disease states. A range of computational tools is now available for both isotopically labeled and label-free liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS) based quantitative proteomics. However, they are generally not comparable to each other in terms of functionality, user interfaces, information input/output, and do not readily facilitate appropriate statistical data analysis. These limitations, along with the array of choices, present a daunting prospect for biologists, and other researchers not trained in bioinformatics, who wish to use LC-MS-based quantitative proteomics.
Results
We have developed Corra, a computational framework and tools for discovery-based LC-MS proteomics. Corra extends and adapts existing algorithms used for LC-MS-based proteomics, and statistical algorithms, originally developed for microarray data analyses, appropriate for LC-MS data analysis. Corra also adapts software engineering technologies (e.g. Google Web Toolkit, distributed processing) so that computationally intense data processing and statistical analyses can run on a remote server, while the user controls and manages the process from their own computer via a simple web interface. Corra also allows the user to output significantly differentially abundant LC-MS-detected peptide features in a form compatible with subsequent sequence identification via tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS). We present two case studies to illustrate the application of Corra to commonly performed LC-MS-based biological workflows: a pilot biomarker discovery study of glycoproteins isolated from human plasma samples relevant to type 2 diabetes, and a study in yeast to identify in vivo targets of the protein kinase Ark1 via phosphopeptide profiling.
Conclusion
The Corra computational framework leverages computational innovation to enable biologists or other researchers to process, analyze and visualize LC-MS data with what would otherwise be a complex and not user-friendly suite of tools. Corra enables appropriate statistical analyses, with controlled false-discovery rates, ultimately to inform subsequent targeted identification of differentially abundant peptides by MS/MS. For the user not trained in bioinformatics, Corra represents a complete, customizable, free and open source computational platform enabling LC-MS-based proteomic workflows, and as such, addresses an unmet need in the LC-MS proteomics field.
doi:10.1186/1471-2105-9-542
PMCID: PMC2651178  PMID: 19087345
11.  jTraML: An Open Source Java API for TraML, the PSI Standard for Sharing SRM Transitions 
Journal of Proteome Research  2011;10(11):5260-5263.
We here present jTraML, a Java API for the Proteomics Standards Initiative TraML data standard. The library provides fully functional classes for all elements specified in the TraML XSD document, as well as convenient methods to construct controlled vocabulary-based instances required to define SRM transitions. The use of jTraML is demonstrated via a two-way conversion tool between TraML documents and vendor specific files, facilitating the adoption process of this new community standard. The library is released as open source under the permissive Apache2 license and can be downloaded from http://jtraml.googlecode.com. TraML files can also be converted online at http://iomics.ugent.be/jtraml.
The jTraML library provides a freely available and permissively licensed open source Java API for creating and parsing TraML files, the PSI standard for communicating SRM assays. We also used jTraML to build command line and Web applications that convert vendor specific files to TraML and vice versa.
doi:10.1021/pr200664h
PMCID: PMC3208355  PMID: 21967198
proteomics; bioinformatics; mass spectrometry; standards; selection reaction monitoring

Results 1-11 (11)