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pepFunk, a tool for peptide-centric functional analysis in metaproteomic human gut microbiome studies

By Caitlin Simopoulos, Zhibin Ning, Xu Zhang, Leyuan Li, Krystal Walker, Mathieu Lavallée-Adam, Daniel Figeys

Posted 25 Nov 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/854976 (published DOI: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btaa289)

Enzymatic digestion of proteins before mass spectrometry analysis is a key process in metaproteomic workflows. Canonical metaproteomic data processing pipelines typically involve matching spectra produced by the mass spectrometer to a theoretical spectra database, followed by matching the identified peptides back to parent proteins. However, the nature of enzymatic digestion produces peptides that can be found in multiple proteins due to conservation or chance, presenting difficulties with protein and functional assignment. To combat this challenge, we developed a peptide-centric metaproteomic workflow focused on the analysis of human gut microbiome samples. Our workflow includes a curated peptide database annotated with KEGG terms and a pathway enrichment analysis adapted for peptide level data. Analysis using our peptide-centric workflow is fast and identifies more enriched KEGG pathways than protein-centric analysis. Our workflow is open source and available as a web application or source code to be run locally.

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