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XLPM: efficient algorithm for the analysis of protein-protein contacts using chemical cross-linking mass spectrometry

XLPM: efficient algorithm for the analysis of protein-protein contacts using chemical cross-linking mass spectrometry

Bmc Bioinformatics 15(Suppl. 11): S16

Chemical cross-linking is used for protein-protein contacts mapping and for structural analysis. One of the difficulties in cross-linking studies is the analysis of mass-spectrometry data and the assignment of the site of cross-link incorporation. The difficulties are due to higher charges of fragment ions, and to the overall low-abundance of cross-link species in the background of linear peptides. Cross-linkers non-specific at one end, such as photo-inducible diazirines, may complicate the analysis further. In this report, we design and validate a novel cross-linked peptide mapping algorithm (XLPM) and compare it to StavroX, which is currently one of the best algorithms in this class. We have designed a novel cross-link search algorithm -XLPM - and implemented it both as an online tool and as a downloadable archive of scripts. We designed a filter based on an observation that observation of a b-ion implies observation of a complimentary y-ion with high probability (b-y filter). We validated the b-y filter on the set of linear peptides from NIST library, and demonstrate that it is an effective way to find high-quality mass spectra. Next, we generated cross-linked data from an ssDNA binding protein, Rim1with a specific cross-linker disuccinimidyl suberate, and a semi-specific cross-linker NHS-Diazirine, followed by analysis of the cross-linked products by nanoLC-LTQ-Orbitrap mass spectrometry. The cross-linked data were searched by XLPM and StavroX and the performance of the two algorithms was compared. The cross-links were mapped to the X-ray structure of Rim1 tetramer. Analysis of the mixture of NHS-Diazirine cross-linked ¹⁵N and ¹⁴N-labeled Rim1 tetramers yielded ¹⁵N-labeled to ¹⁴N-labeled cross-linked peptide pairs, corresponding to C-terminus-to-N-terminus cross-linking, demonstrating interaction between different two Rim1 tetramers. Both XLPM and StavroX were successful in identification of this interaction, with XLPM leading to a better annotation of higher-charged fragments. We also put forward a new method of estimating specificity and sensitivity of identification of a cross-linked residue in the case of a non-specific cross-linker. The novel cross-link mapping algorithm, XLPM, considerably improves the speed and accuracy of the analysis compared to other methods. The quality selection filter based on b-to-y ions ratio proved to be an effective way to select high quality cross-linked spectra.

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Accession: 056967972

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PMID: 25350700

DOI: 10.1186/1471-2105-15-s11-s16

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