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J Proteome Res. 2013 Sep 6;12(9):4111-21. doi: 10.1021/pr400438q. Epub 2013 Aug 12.

IDPQuantify: combining precursor intensity with spectral counts for protein and peptide quantification.

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Department of Biomedical Informatics, Vanderbilt University Medical School, Nashville, Tennessee 37232-8575, United States.


Differentiating and quantifying protein differences in complex samples produces significant challenges in sensitivity and specificity. Label-free quantification can draw from two different information sources: precursor intensities and spectral counts. Intensities are accurate for calculating protein relative abundance, but values are often missing due to peptides that are identified sporadically. Spectral counting can reliably reproduce difference lists, but differentiating peptides or quantifying all but the most concentrated protein changes is usually beyond its abilities. Here we developed new software, IDPQuantify, to align multiple replicates using principal component analysis, extract accurate precursor intensities from MS data, and combine intensities with spectral counts for significant gains in differentiation and quantification. We have applied IDPQuantify to three comparative proteomic data sets featuring gold standard protein differences spiked in complicated backgrounds. The software is able to associate peptides with peaks that are otherwise left unidentified to increase the efficiency of protein quantification, especially for low-abundance proteins. By combing intensities with spectral counts from IDPicker, it gains an average of 30% more true positive differences among top differential proteins. IDPQuantify quantifies protein relative abundance accurately in these test data sets to produce good correlations between known and measured concentrations.

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