The complex biological processes that control cellular function are mediated by intricate networks of molecular interactions. Accumulating evidence indicates that these interactions are often interdependent, thus acting cooperatively. Cooperative interactions are prevalent in and indispensible for reliable and robust control of cell regulation, as they underlie the conditional decision-making capability of large regulatory complexes. Despite an increased focus on experimental elucidation of the molecular details of cooperative binding events, as evidenced by their growing occurrence in literature, they are currently lacking from the main bioinformatics resources. One of the contributing factors to this deficiency is the lack of a computer-readable standard representation and exchange format for cooperative interaction data. To tackle this shortcoming, we added functionality to the widely used PSI-MI interchange format for molecular interaction data by defining new controlled vocabulary terms that allow annotation of different aspects of cooperativity without making structural changes to the underlying XML schema. As a result, we are able to capture cooperative interaction data in a structured format that is backward compatible with PSI-MI–based data and applications. This will facilitate the storage, exchange and analysis of cooperative interaction data, which in turn will advance experimental research on this fundamental principle in biology.
The IMEx consortium is an international collaboration between major public interaction data providers to share curation effort and make a non-redundant set of protein interactions available in a single search interface on a common website (www.imexconsortium.org). Common curation rules have been developed and a central registry is used to manage the selection of articles to enter into the dataset. The advantages of such a service to the user, quality control measures adopted and data distribution practices are discussed.
Summary: We present iAnn, an open source community-driven platform for dissemination of life science events, such as courses, conferences and workshops. iAnn allows automatic visualisation and integration of customised event reports. A central repository lies at the core of the platform: curators add submitted events, and these are subsequently accessed via web services. Thus, once an iAnn widget is incorporated into a website, it permanently shows timely relevant information as if it were native to the remote site. At the same time, announcements submitted to the repository are automatically disseminated to all portals that query the system. To facilitate the visualization of announcements, iAnn provides powerful filtering options and views, integrated in Google Maps and Google Calendar. All iAnn widgets are freely available.
Protein sequence databases are the pillar upon which modern proteomics is supported, representing a stable reference space of predicted and validated proteins. One example of such resources is UniProt, enriched with both expertly curated and automatic annotations. Taken largely for granted, similar mature resources such as UniProt are not available yet in some other “omics” fields, lipidomics being one of them. While having a seasoned community of wet lab scientists, lipidomics lies significantly behind proteomics in the adoption of data standards and other core bioinformatics concepts. This work aims to reduce the gap by developing an equivalent resource to UniProt called ‘LipidHome’, providing theoretically generated lipid molecules and useful metadata. Using the ‘FASTLipid’ Java library, a database was populated with theoretical lipids, generated from a set of community agreed upon chemical bounds. In parallel, a web application was developed to present the information and provide computational access via a web service. Designed specifically to accommodate high throughput mass spectrometry based approaches, lipids are organised into a hierarchy that reflects the variety in the structural resolution of lipid identifications. Additionally, cross-references to other lipid related resources and papers that cite specific lipids were used to annotate lipid records. The web application encompasses a browser for viewing lipid records and a ‘tools’ section where an MS1 search engine is currently implemented. LipidHome can be accessed at http://www.ebi.ac.uk/apweiler-srv/lipidhome.
The MIRIAM Registry (http://www.ebi.ac.uk/miriam/) records information about collections of data in the life sciences, as well as where it can be obtained. This information is used, in combination with the resolving infrastructure of Identifiers.org (http://identifiers.org/), to generate globally unique identifiers, in the form of Uniform Resource Identifier. These identifiers are now widely used to provide perennial cross-references and annotations. The growing demand for these identifiers results in a significant increase in curational efforts to maintain the underlying registry. This requires the design and implementation of an economically viable and sustainable solution able to cope with such expansion. We briefly describe the Registry, the current curation duties entailed, and our plans to extend and distribute this workload through collaborative and community efforts.
Controlled vocabularies (CVs), i.e. a collection of predefined terms describing a modeling domain, used for the semantic annotation of data, and ontologies are used in structured data formats and databases to avoid inconsistencies in annotation, to have a unique (and preferably short) accession number and to give researchers and computer algorithms the possibility for more expressive semantic annotation of data. The Human Proteome Organization (HUPO)–Proteomics Standards Initiative (PSI) makes extensive use of ontologies/CVs in their data formats. The PSI-Mass Spectrometry (MS) CV contains all the terms used in the PSI MS–related data standards. The CV contains a logical hierarchical structure to ensure ease of maintenance and the development of software that makes use of complex semantics. The CV contains terms required for a complete description of an MS analysis pipeline used in proteomics, including sample labeling, digestion enzymes, instrumentation parts and parameters, software used for identification and quantification of peptides/proteins and the parameters and scores used to determine their significance. Owing to the range of topics covered by the CV, collaborative development across several PSI working groups, including proteomics research groups, instrument manufacturers and software vendors, was necessary. In this article, we describe the overall structure of the CV, the process by which it has been developed and is maintained and the dependencies on other ontologies.
Database URL: http://psidev.cvs.sourceforge.net/viewvc/psidev/psi/psi-ms/mzML/controlledVocabulary/psi-ms.obo
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.
selected reaction monitoring; bioinformatics; data quality; metrics; open access; Amsterdam Principles; standards
For shotgun mass spectrometry based proteomics the most computationally expensive step is in matching the spectra against an increasingly large database of sequences and their post-translational modifications with known masses. Each mass spectrometer can generate data at an astonishingly high rate, and the scope of what is searched for is continually increasing. Therefore solutions for improving our ability to perform these searches are needed.
We present a sequence database search engine that is specifically designed to run efficiently on the Hadoop MapReduce distributed computing framework. The search engine implements the K-score algorithm, generating comparable output for the same input files as the original implementation. The scalability of the system is shown, and the architecture required for the development of such distributed processing is discussed.
The software is scalable in its ability to handle a large peptide database, numerous modifications and large numbers of spectra. Performance scales with the number of processors in the cluster, allowing throughput to expand with the available resources.
The PRoteomics IDEntifications (PRIDE, http://www.ebi.ac.uk/pride) database at the European Bioinformatics Institute is one of the most prominent data repositories of mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomics data. Here, we summarize recent developments in the PRIDE database and related tools. First, we provide up-to-date statistics in data content, splitting the figures by groups of organisms and species, including peptide and protein identifications, and post-translational modifications. We then describe the tools that are part of the PRIDE submission pipeline, especially the recently developed PRIDE Converter 2 (new submission tool) and PRIDE Inspector (visualization and analysis tool). We also give an update about the integration of PRIDE with other MS proteomics resources in the context of the ProteomeXchange consortium. Finally, we briefly review the quality control efforts that are ongoing at present and outline our future plans.
The availability of comprehensive information about enzymes plays an important role in answering questions relevant to interdisciplinary fields such as biochemistry, enzymology, biofuels, bioengineering and drug discovery. At the EMBL European Bioinformatics Institute, we have developed an enzyme portal (http://www.ebi.ac.uk/enzymeportal) to provide this wealth of information on enzymes from multiple in-house resources addressing particular data classes: protein sequence and structure, reactions, pathways and small molecules. The fact that these data reside in separate databases makes information discovery cumbersome. The main goal of the portal is to simplify this process for end users.
Reactome describes biological pathways as chemical reactions that closely mirror the actual physical interactions that occur in the cell. Recent extensions of our data model accommodate the annotation of cancer and other disease processes. First, we have extended our class of protein modifications to accommodate annotation of changes in amino acid sequence and the formation of fusion proteins to describe the proteins involved in disease processes. Second, we have added a disease attribute to reaction, pathway, and physical entity classes that uses disease ontology terms. To support the graphical representation of “cancer” pathways, we have adapted our Pathway Browser to display disease variants and events in a way that allows comparison with the wild type pathway, and shows connections between perturbations in cancer and other biological pathways. The curation of pathways associated with cancer, coupled with our efforts to create other disease-specific pathways, will interoperate with our existing pathway and network analysis tools. Using the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) signaling pathway as an example, we show how Reactome annotates and presents the altered biological behavior of EGFR variants due to their altered kinase and ligand-binding properties, and the mode of action and specificity of anti-cancer therapeutics.
pathway database; pathway visualization; network visualization; cancer annotation; EGFR signaling
A large number of diverse, complex, and distributed data resources are currently available in the Bioinformatics domain. The pace of discovery and the diversity of information means that centralised reference databases like UniProt and Ensembl cannot integrate all potentially relevant information sources. From a user perspective however, centralised access to all relevant information concerning a specific query is essential. The Distributed Annotation System (DAS) defines a communication protocol to exchange annotations on genomic and protein sequences; this standardisation enables clients to retrieve data from a myriad of sources, thus offering centralised access to end-users.
We introduce MyDas, a web server that facilitates the publishing of biological annotations according to the DAS specification. It deals with the common functionality requirements of making data available, while also providing an extension mechanism in order to implement the specifics of data store interaction. MyDas allows the user to define where the required information is located along with its structure, and is then responsible for the communication protocol details.
The original PRIDE Converter tool greatly simplified the process of submitting mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomics data to the PRIDE database. However, after much user feedback, it was noted that the tool had some limitations and could not handle several user requirements that were now becoming commonplace. This prompted us to design and implement a whole new suite of tools that would build on the successes of the original PRIDE Converter and allow users to generate submission-ready, well-annotated PRIDE XML files. The PRIDE Converter 2 tool suite allows users to convert search result files into PRIDE XML (the format needed for performing submissions to the PRIDE database), generate mzTab skeleton files that can be used as a basis to submit quantitative and gel-based MS data, and post-process PRIDE XML files by filtering out contaminants and empty spectra, or by merging several PRIDE XML files together. All the tools have both a graphical user interface that provides a dialog-based, user-friendly way to convert and prepare files for submission, as well as a command-line interface that can be used to integrate the tools into existing or novel pipelines, for batch processing and power users. The PRIDE Converter 2 tool suite will thus become a cornerstone in the submission process to PRIDE and, by extension, to the ProteomeXchange consortium of MS-proteomics data repositories.
New methods for performing quantitative proteome analyses based on differential labeling protocols or label-free techniques are reported in the literature on an almost monthly basis. In parallel, a correspondingly vast number of software tools for the analysis of quantitative proteomics data has also been described in the literature and produced by private companies. In this article we focus on the review of some of the most popular techniques in the field and present a critical appraisal of several software packages available to process and analyze the data produced. We also describe the importance of community standards to support the wide range of software, which may assist researchers in the analysis of data using different platforms and protocols. It is intended that this review will serve bench scientists both as a useful reference and a guide to the selection and use of different pipelines to perform quantitative proteomics data analysis. We have produced a web-based tool (http://www.proteosuite.org/?q=other_resources) to help researchers find appropriate software for their local instrumentation, available file formats, and quantitative methodology.
To make full use of research data, the bioscience community needs to adopt technologies and reward mechanisms that support interoperability and promote the growth of an open ‘data commoning’ culture. Here we describe the prerequisites for data commoning and present an established and growing ecosystem of solutions using the shared ‘Investigation-Study-Assay’ framework to support that vision.
The Protein Identifier Cross-Reference (PICR) service is a tool that allows users to map protein identifiers, protein sequences and gene identifiers across over 100 different source databases. PICR takes input through an interactive website as well as Representational State Transfer (REST) and Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) services. It returns the results as HTML pages, XLS and CSV files. It has been in production since 2007 and has been recently enhanced to add new functionality and increase the number of databases it covers. Protein subsequences can be Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST) against the UniProt Knowledgebase (UniProtKB) to provide an entry point to the standard PICR mapping algorithm. In addition, gene identifiers from UniProtKB and Ensembl can now be submitted as input or mapped to as output from PICR. We have also implemented a ‘best-guess’ mapping algorithm for UniProt. In this article, we describe the usefulness of PICR, how these changes have been implemented, and the corresponding additions to the web services. Finally, we explain that the number of source databases covered by PICR has increased from the initial 73 to the current 102. New resources include several new species-specific Ensembl databases as well as the Ensembl Genome ones. PICR can be accessed at http://www.ebi.ac.uk/Tools/picr/.
We report the release of mzIdentML, an exchange standard for peptide and protein identification data, designed by the Proteomics Standards Initiative. The format was developed by the Proteomics Standards Initiative in collaboration with instrument and software vendors, and the developers of the major open-source projects in proteomics. Software implementations have been developed to enable conversion from most popular proprietary and open-source formats, and mzIdentML will soon be supported by the major public repositories. These developments enable proteomics scientists to start working with the standard for exchanging and publishing data sets in support of publications and they provide a stable platform for bioinformatics groups and commercial software vendors to work with a single file format for identification data.
The PRoteomics IDEntifications (PRIDE) database is a large public proteomics data repository, containing over 270 million mass spectra (by November 2011). PRIDE is an archival database, providing the proteomics data supporting specific scientific publications in a computationally accessible manner. While PRIDE faces rapid increases in data deposition size as well as number of depositions, the major challenge is to ensure a high quality of data depositions in the context of highly diverse proteomics work flows and data representations. Here, we describe the PRIDE curation pipeline and its practical application in quality control of complex data depositions.
IntAct is an open-source, open data molecular interaction database populated by data either curated from the literature or from direct data depositions. Two levels of curation are now available within the database, with both IMEx-level annotation and less detailed MIMIx-compatible entries currently supported. As from September 2011, IntAct contains approximately 275 000 curated binary interaction evidences from over 5000 publications. The IntAct website has been improved to enhance the search process and in particular the graphical display of the results. New data download formats are also available, which will facilitate the inclusion of IntAct's data in the Semantic Web. IntAct is an active contributor to the IMEx consortium (http://www.imexconsortium.org). IntAct source code and data are freely available at http://www.ebi.ac.uk/intact.
The reversible phosphorylation of serine, threonine and tyrosine hydroxyl groups is an especially prominent form of post-translational modification (PTM) of proteins. It plays critical roles in the regulation of diverse processes, and mutations that directly or indirectly affect these phosphorylation events have been associated with many cancers and other pathologies. Here, we describe the development of a new BioMart tool that gathers data from three different biological resources to provide the user with an integrated view of phosphorylation events associated with a human protein of interest, the complexes of which the protein (modified or not) is a part, the reactions in which the protein and its complexes participate and the somatic mutations that might be expected to perturb those functions. The three resources used are the Reactome, PRIDE and COSMIC databases. The Reactome knowledgebase contains annotations of phosphorylated human proteins linked to the reactions in which they are phosphorylated and dephosphorylated, to the complexes of which they are parts and to the reactions in which the phosphorylated proteins participate as substrates, catalysts and regulators. The PRIDE database holds extensive mass spectrometry data from which protein phosphorylation patterns can be inferred, and the COSMIC database holds records of somatic mutations found in human cancer cells. This tool supports both flexible, user-specified queries and standard (‘canned’) queries to retrieve frequently used combinations of data for user-specified proteins and reactions. We demonstrate using the Wnt signaling pathway and the human c-SRC protein how the tool can be used to place somatic mutation data into a functional perspective by changing critical residues involved in pathway modulation, and where available, check for mass spectrometry evidence in PRIDE supporting identification of the critical residue.
Database URL: http://www.reactome.org/cgi-bin/mart
Reactome is an open source, expert-authored, manually curated and peer-reviewed database of reactions, pathways and biological processes. We provide an intuitive web-based user interface to pathway knowledge and a suite of data analysis tools. The Reactome BioMart provides biologists and bioinformaticians with a single web interface for performing simple or elaborate queries of the Reactome database, aggregating data from different sources and providing an opportunity to integrate experimental and computational results with information relating to biological pathways.
Database URL: http://www.reactome.org
The Human Proteome Organisation’s Proteomics Standards Initiative (HUPO-PSI) has developed the GelML data exchange format for representing gel electrophoresis experiments performed in proteomics investigations. The format closely follows the reporting guidelines for gel electrophoresis, which are part of the Minimum Information About a Proteomics Experiment (MIAPE) set of modules. GelML supports the capture of metadata (such as experimental protocols) and data (such as gel images) resulting from gel electrophoresis so that laboratories can be compliant with the MIAPE Gel Electrophoresis guidelines, while allowing such data sets to be exchanged or downloaded from public repositories. The format is sufficiently flexible to capture data from a broad range of experimental processes, and complements other PSI formats for mass spectrometry data and the results of protein and peptide identifications to capture entire gel-based proteome workflows. GelML has resulted from the open standardisation process of PSI consisting of both public consultation and anonymous review of the specifications.
data standard; gel electrophoresis; database; ontology