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Re-fraction: a machine learning approach for deterministic identification of protein homologues and splice variants in large-scale MS-based proteomics


A key step in the analysis of mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomics data is the inference of proteins from identified peptide sequences. Here we describe Re-Fraction, a novel machine learning algorithm that enhances deterministic protein identification. Re-Fraction utilizes several protein physical properties to assign proteins to expected protein fractions that comprise large-scale MS-based proteomics data. This information is then used to appropriately assign peptides to specific proteins. This approach is sensitive, highly specific, and computationally efficient. We provide algorithms and source code for the current version of Re-Fraction, which accepts output tables from the MaxQuant environment. Nevertheless, the principles behind Re-Fraction can be applied to other protein identification pipelines where data are generated from samples fractionated at the protein level. We demonstrate the utility of this approach through reanalysis of data from a previously published study and generate lists of proteins deterministically identified by Re-Fraction that were previously only identified as members of a protein group. We find that this approach is particularly useful in resolving protein groups composed of splice variants and homologues, which are frequently expressed in a cell- or tissue-specific manner and may have important biological consequences.

Type Journal
Authors Yang, P.; Humphrey, S. J.; Fazakerley, D. J.; Prior, M. J.; Yang, G.; James, D. E.; Yang, J. Y.:
Publisher Name J PROTEOME RES
Published Date 2012-03-19 00:00:00
Published Volume 11
Published Issue 5
Published Pages 3035-45
Status Published In-print
OpenAccess Link - final.pdf