Current Research Results
Authors: Wai-Kok Choong, T. Mamie Lih, Yu-Ju Chen, Ting-Yi Sung
To confirm the existence of missing proteins, we need to identify at least two unique peptides with length of 9–40 amino acids of a missing protein in bottom-up mass-spectrometry-based proteomic experiments. However, an identified unique peptide of the missing protein, even identified with high level of confidence, could possibly coincide with a peptide of a commonly observed protein due to isobaric substitutions, mass modifications, alternative splice isoforms, or single amino acid variants (SAAVs). Besides unique peptides of missing proteins, identified variant peptides (SAAV-containing peptides) could also alternatively map to peptides of other proteins due to the aforementioned issues. Therefore, we conducted a thorough comparative analysis on data sets in PeptideAtlas Tiered Human Integrated Search Proteome (THISP, 2017-03 release), including neXtProt (2017-01 release), to systematically investigate the possibility of unique peptides in missing proteins (PE2–4), unique peptides in dubious proteins, and variant peptides affected by isobaric substitutions, causing doubtful identification results. In this study, we considered 11 isobaric substitutions. From our analysis, we found <5% of the unique peptides of missing proteins and >6% of variant peptides became shared with peptides of PE1 proteins after isobaric substitutions.