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Regular version of the site

Article

PTMTreeSearch: a novel two-stage tree-search algorithm with pruning rules for the identification of post-translational modification of proteins in MS/MS spectra.

Bioinformatics. 2014. Vol. 30. No. 2. P. 234-241.
Kertesz-Farkas A., Myers M. P.

Motivation: Tandem mass spectrometry has become a standard tool for identifying post-translational modifications (PTMs) of proteins. Algorithmic searches for PTMs from tandem mass spectrum data (MS/MS) tend to be hampered by noisy data as well as by a combinatorial explosion of the search space. This leads to high uncertainty and long search-execution times.

Results: To address this issue, we present PTMTreeSearch, a new algorithm that uses a large database of known PTMs to identify PTMs from MS/MS data. For a given peptide sequence, PTMTreeSearch builds a computational tree wherein each path from the root to the leaves is labeled with the amino acids of a peptide sequence. Branches then represent PTMs. Various empirical tree pruning rules have been designed to decrease the search-execution time by eliminating biologically unlikely solutions. PTMTreeSearch first identifies a relatively small set of high confidence PTM types, and in a second stage, performs a more exhaustive search on this restricted set using a relaxed search parameter settings. An analysis of experimental data shows that using the same criteria for false discovery, PTMTreeSearch annotates more peptides than the current state-of-the-art methods and PTM identification algorithms, and achieves this at roughly the same execution time. PTMTreeSearch is implemented as a plugable scoring function in the X!Tandem search engine.