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1.  The State of the Human Proteome in 2014/2015 as viewed through PeptideAtlas: enhancing accuracy and coverage through the AtlasProphet 
Journal of proteome research  2015;14(9):3461-3473.
The Human PeptideAtlas is a compendium of the highest quality peptide identifications from over 1000 shotgun mass spectrometry proteomics experiments collected from many different labs, all reanalyzed through a uniform processing pipeline. The latest 2015-03 build contains substantially more input data than past releases, is mapped to a recent version of our merged reference proteome, and uses improved informatics processing and the development of the AtlasProphet to provide the highest quality results. Within the set of ~20,000 neXtProt primary entries, 14,070 (70%) are confidently detected in the latest build, 5% are ambiguous, 9% are redundant, leaving the total percentage of proteins for which there are no mapping detections at just 16% (3166), all derived from over 133 million peptide-spectrum matches identifying more than 1 million distinct peptides using AtlasProphet to characterize and classify the protein matches. Improved handling for detection and presentation of single amino-acid variants (SAAVs) reveals the detection of 5,326 uniquely mapping SAAVs across 2,794 proteins. With such a large amount of data, the control of false positives is a challenge. We present the methodology and results for maintaining rigorous quality, along with a discussion of the implications of the remaining sources of errors in the build. We check our uncertainty estimates against a set of olfactory receptor proteins not expected to be present in the set. We show how the use of synthetic reference spectra can provide confirmatory evidence for claims of detection of proteins with weak evidence.
PMCID: PMC4755269  PMID: 26139527
shotgun proteomics; tandem mass spectrometry; repositories; PeptideAtlas; Human Proteome Project; observed proteome
2.  Using PeptideAtlas, SRMAtlas and PASSEL – Comprehensive Resources for discovery and targeted proteomics 
PeptideAtlas, SRMAtlas and PASSEL are web-accessible resources to support discovery and targeted proteomics research. PeptideAtlas is a multi-species compendium of shotgun proteomic data provided by the scientific community, SRMAtlas is a resource of high-quality, complete proteome SRM assays generated in a consistent manner for the targeted identification and quantification of proteins, and PASSEL is a repository that compiles and represents selected reaction monitoring data, all in an easy to use interface. The databases are generated from native mass spectrometry data files that are analyzed in a standardized manner including statistical validation of the results. Each resource offers search functionalities and can be queried by user defined constraints; the query results are provided in tables or are graphically displayed. PeptideAtlas, SRMAtlas and PASSEL are publicly available freely via the website In this protocol, we describe the use of these resources, we highlight how to submit, search, collate and download data.
PMCID: PMC4331073  PMID: 24939129
discovery proteomics; targeted proteomics; selected reaction monitoring (SRM); data repository; data resource; complete proteome library
3.  Comparative proteome analysis reveals conserved and specific adaptation patterns of Staphylococcus aureus after internalization by different types of human non-professional phagocytic host cells 
Staphylococcus aureus is a human pathogen that can cause a wide range of diseases. Although formerly regarded as extracellular pathogen, it has been shown that S. aureus can also be internalized by host cells and persist within these cells. In the present study, we comparatively analyzed survival and physiological adaptation of S. aureus HG001 after internalization by two human lung epithelial cell lines (S9 and A549), and human embryonic kidney cells (HEK 293). Combining enrichment of bacteria from host-pathogen assays by cell sorting and quantitation of the pathogen's proteome by mass spectrometry we characterized S. aureus adaptation during the initial phase between 2.5 h and 6.5 h post-infection. Starting with about 2 × 106 bacteria, roughly 1450 S. aureus proteins, including virulence factors and metabolic enzymes were identified by spectral comparison and classical database searches. Most of the bacterial adaptation reactions, such as decreased levels of ribosomal proteins and metabolic enzymes or increased amounts of proteins involved in arginine and lysine biosynthesis, enzymes coding for terminal oxidases and stress responsive proteins or activation of the sigma factor SigB were observed after internalization into any of the three cell lines studied. However, differences were noted in central carbon metabolism including regulation of fermentation and threonine degradation. Since these differences coincided with different intracellular growth behavior, complementary profiling of the metabolome of the different non-infected host cell types was performed. This revealed similar levels of intracellular glucose but host cell specific differences in the amounts of amino acids such as glycine, threonine or glutamate. With this comparative study we provide an impression of the common and specific features of the adaptation of S. aureus HG001 to specific host cell environments as a starting point for follow-up studies with different strain isolates and regulatory mutants.
PMCID: PMC4117987  PMID: 25136337
Staphylococcus aureus; human cell lines; host-pathogen interaction; proteomics; label-free quantitation
4.  A complete mass spectrometric map for the analysis of the yeast proteome and its application to quantitative trait analysis 
Nature  2013;494(7436):266-270.
Complete reference maps or datasets, like the genomic map of an organism, are highly beneficial tools for biological and biomedical research. Attempts to generate such reference datasets for a proteome so far failed to reach complete proteome coverage, with saturation apparent at approximately two thirds of the proteomes tested, even for the most thoroughly characterized proteomes. Here, we used a strategy based on high-throughput peptide synthesis and mass spectrometry to generate a close to complete reference map (97% of the genome-predicted proteins) of the S. cerevisiae proteome. We generated two versions of this mass spectrometric map one supporting discovery- (shotgun) and the other hypothesis-driven (targeted) proteomic measurements. The two versions of the map, therefore, constitute a complete set of proteomic assays to support most studies performed with contemporary proteomic technologies. The reference libraries can be browsed via a web-based repository and associated navigation tools. To demonstrate the utility of the reference libraries we applied them to a protein quantitative trait locus (pQTL) analysis, which requires measurement of the same peptides over a large number of samples with high precision. Protein measurements over a set of 78 S. cerevisiae strains revealed a complex relationship between independent genetic loci, impacting on the levels of related proteins. Our results suggest that selective pressure favors the acquisition of sets of polymorphisms that maintain the stoichiometry of protein complexes and pathways.
PMCID: PMC3951219  PMID: 23334424
S. cerevisiae; selected reaction monitoring; SRM; MRM; spectral library; peptide library; mass spectrometric map; protein QTL
5.  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.
PMCID: PMC3857306  PMID: 22577019
Bioinformatics; Mass Spectrometry; Selected Reaction Monitoring; Transition
6.  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.
PMCID: PMC3832291  PMID: 22318887
data repository; MRM; software; SRM; targeted proteomics
8.  The Microvesicle Component of HIV-1 Inocula Modulates Dendritic Cell Infection and Maturation and Enhances Adhesion to and Activation of T Lymphocytes 
PLoS Pathogens  2013;9(10):e1003700.
HIV-1 is taken up by immature monocyte derived dendritic cells (iMDDCs) into tetraspanin rich caves from which the virus can either be transferred to T lymphocytes or enter into endosomes resulting in degradation. HIV-1 binding and fusion with the DC membrane results in low level de novo infection that can also be transferred to T lymphocytes at a later stage. We have previously reported that HIV-1 can induce partial maturation of iMDDCs at both stages of trafficking. Here we show that CD45+ microvesicles (MV) which contaminate purified HIV-1 inocula due to similar size and density, affect DC maturation, de novo HIV-1 infection and transfer to T lymphocytes. Comparing iMDDCs infected with CD45-depleted HIV-1BaL or matched non-depleted preparations, the presence of CD45+ MVs was shown to enhance DC maturation and ICAM-1 (CD54) expression, which is involved in DC∶T lymphocyte interactions, while restricting HIV-1 infection of MDDCs. Furthermore, in the DC culture HIV-1 infected (p24+) MDDCs were more mature than bystander cells. Depletion of MVs from the HIV-1 inoculum markedly inhibited DC∶T lymphocyte clustering and the induction of alloproliferation as well as limiting HIV-1 transfer from DCs to T lymphocytes. The effects of MV depletion on these functions were reversed by the re-addition of purified MVs from activated but not non-activated SUPT1.CCR5-CL.30 or primary T cells. Analysis of the protein complement of these MVs and of these HIV-1 inocula before and after MV depletion showed that Heat Shock Proteins (HSPs) and nef were the likely DC maturation candidates. Recombinant HSP90α and β and nef all induced DC maturation and ICAM-1 expression, greater when combined. These results suggest that MVs contaminating HIV-1 released from infected T lymphocytes may be biologically important, especially in enhancing T cell activation, during uptake by DCs in vitro and in vivo, particularly as MVs have been detected in the circulation of HIV-1 infected subjects.
Author Summary
Dendritic cells (DCs) are vital for immune recognition of pathogens as they capture, internalise, degrade and present foreign peptides to T lymphocytes. It is thought that HIV-1 hijacks the DCs functions, such as migration and maturation, to increase contact with the major target cell CD4+ T lymphocytes leading to dissemination throughout the body. Currently there is still some controversy over the ability of HIV-1 to infect and mature DCs, which may be due to differences in the inoculum used. Here we examined the effect of contaminating microvesicles (MVs) identified in HIV-1 preparations on HIV-1 modulation of DC function. We show that when MVs are present with HIV-1, the inoculum induces greater DC maturation and adhesion probably via cellular HSP90α and β and viral nef within the MVs. The functional consequences are reduced de novo replication of HIV-1 but increased clustering with T lymphocytes, resulting in increased T lymphocyte alloproliferation and HIV-1 transfer. As MVs are produced in HIV-1 susceptible cells and would be present in vivo due to HIV-1 induced cell death and hence are physiologically relevant, these results also indicate that MVs present in HIV-1 inocula should be considered when assessing HIV∶DC interactions.
PMCID: PMC3798598  PMID: 24204260
9.  Reproducible quantification of cancer-associated proteins in body fluids using targeted proteomics 
Science translational medicine  2012;4(142):142ra94.
The rigorous testing of hypotheses on suitable sample cohorts is a major limitation in translational research. This is particularly the case for the validation of protein biomarkers where the lack of accurate, reproducible and sensitive assays for most proteins has precluded the systematic assessment of hundreds of potential marker proteins described in the literature.
Here, we describe a high throughput method for the development and refinement of selected reaction monitoring (SRM) assays for human proteins. The method was applied to generate such assays for more than 1000 cancer-associated proteins, which are functionally related to candidate cancer driver mutations. We used the assays to determine the detectability of the target proteins in two clinically relevant samples, plasma and urine. 182 proteins were detected in depleted plasma, spanning five orders of magnitude in abundance and reaching below a concentration of 10 ng/mL. The narrower concentration range of proteins in urine allowed the detection of 408 proteins. Moreover, we demonstrate that these SRM assays allow the reproducible quantification of 34 biomarker candidates across 84 patient plasma samples. Through public access to the entire assay library, which will also be expandable in the future, researchers will be able to target their cancer-associated proteins of interest in any sample type using the detectability information in plasma and urine as a guide. The generated reference map of SRM assays for cancer-associated proteins is a valuable resource for accelerating and planning biomarker verification studies.
PMCID: PMC3766734  PMID: 22786679
10.  Quantotypic properties of QconCAT peptides targeting bovine host response to Streptococcus uberis 
Journal of Proteome Research  2012;11(3):1832-1843.
Mammalian host response to pathogens is associated with fluctuations in high abundant proteins in body fluids as well as in regulation of proteins expressed in relatively low copy numbers like cytokines secreted from immune cells and endothelium. Hence, efficient monitoring of proteins associated with host response to pathogens remains a challenging task. In this paper we present a targeted proteome analysis of a panel of 20 proteins that are widely believed to be key players and indicators of bovine host response to mastitis pathogens. Stable isotope labeled variants of two concordant proteotypic peptides from each of these 20 proteins were obtained through the QconCAT method. We present the quantotypic properties of these 40 proteotypic peptides, and discuss their application to research in host pathogen interactions. Our results clearly demonstrate a robust monitoring of 17 targeted host-response proteins. Twelve of these were readily quantified in a simple extraction of mammary gland tissues, while the expression levels of the remaining proteins were too low for direct and stable quantification; hence their accurate quantification requires further fractionation of mammary gland tissues.
PMCID: PMC3342530  PMID: 22256911
SRM; QconCAT assay; quantification; proteomics; quantotypic peptides; mastitis
11.  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
PMCID: PMC3072271  PMID: 21182202
Interaction networks; Biological inference; Gene ontology; Software analysis
12.  ATAQS: A computational software tool for high throughput transition optimization and validation for selected reaction monitoring mass spectrometry 
BMC Bioinformatics  2011;12:78.
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.
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.
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
PMCID: PMC3213215  PMID: 21414234

Results 1-12 (12)