Iterative data analysis is the key for exhaustive analysis of peptide mass fingerprints from proteins separated by two-dimensional electrophoresis
Cell Transformation, Viral
Receptors, Cell Surface
Peptide mass fingerprinting (PMF) is a powerful tool for identification of proteins separated by two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE). With the increase in sensitivity of peptide mass determination it becomes obvious that even spots looking well separated on a 2-DE gel may consist of several proteins. As a result the number of mass peaks in PMFs increased dramatically leaving many unassigned after a first database search. A number of these are caused by experiment-specific contaminants or by neighbor spots, as well as by additional proteins or post-translational modifications. To understand the complete protein composition of a spot we suggest an iterative procedure based on large numbers of PMFs, exemplified by PMFs of 480 Helicobacter pylori protein spots. Three key iterations were applied: (1) Elimination of contaminant mass peaks determined by MS-Screener (a software developed for this purpose) followed by reanalysis; (2) neighbor spot mass peak determination by cluster analysis, elimination from the peak list and repeated search; (3) re-evaluation of contaminant peaks. The quality of the identification was improved and spots previously unidentified were assigned to proteins. Eight additional spots were identified with this procedure, increasing the total number of identified spots to 455. © 2003 American Society for Mass Spectrometry.
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