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J Proteome Res. 2008 Jan;7(1):29-34. Epub 2007 Dec 8.

Assigning significance to peptides identified by tandem mass spectrometry using decoy databases.

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Department of Genome Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA.


Automated methods for assigning peptides to observed tandem mass spectra typically return a list of peptide-spectrum matches, ranked according to an arbitrary score. In this article, we describe methods for converting these arbitrary scores into more useful statistical significance measures. These methods employ a decoy sequence database as a model of the null hypothesis, and use false discovery rate (FDR) analysis to correct for multiple testing. We first describe a simple FDR inference method and then describe how estimating and taking into account the percentage of incorrectly identified spectra in the entire data set can lead to increased statistical power.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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