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Barsnes H.,University of Bergen | Barsnes H.,Computational Biology Unit | Eidhammer I.,University of Bergen | Martens L.,VIB | Martens L.,Ghent University
Proteomics | Year: 2011

Understanding the fragmentation process in MS/MS experiments is vital when trying to validate the results of such experiments, and one way of improving our understanding is to analyze existing data. We here present our findings from an analysis of a large and diverse data set of MS/MS-based peptide identifications, in which each peptide has been identified from multiple spectra, recorded on two commonly used types of electrospray instruments. By analyzing these data we were able to study fragmentation variability on three levels: (i) variation in detection rates and intensities for fragment ions from the same peptide sequence measured multiple times on a single instrument; (ii) consistency of rank-based fragmentation patterns; and (iii) a set of general observations on fragment ion occurrence in MS/MS experiments, regardless of sequence. Our results confirm that substantial variation can be found at all levels, even when high-quality identifications are used and the experimental conditions as well as the peptide sequences are kept constant. Finally, we discuss the observed variability in light of ongoing efforts to create spectral libraries and predictive software for target selection in targeted proteomics. © 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim. Source

Barsnes H.,University of Bergen | Barsnes H.,Computational Biology Unit | Vaudel M.,Leibniz Institute for Analytical Sciences | Colaert N.,VIB | And 7 more authors.
BMC Bioinformatics | Year: 2011

Background: The growing interest in the field of proteomics has increased the demand for software tools and applications that process and analyze the resulting data. And even though the purpose of these tools can vary significantly, they usually share a basic set of features, including the handling of protein and peptide sequences, the visualization of (and interaction with) spectra and chromatograms, and the parsing of results from various proteomics search engines. Developers typically spend considerable time and effort implementing these support structures, which detracts from working on the novel aspects of their tool.Results: In order to simplify the development of proteomics tools, we have implemented an open-source support library for computational proteomics, called compomics-utilities. The library contains a broad set of features required for reading, parsing, and analyzing proteomics data. compomics-utilities is already used by a long list of existing software, ensuring library stability and continued support and development.Conclusions: As a user-friendly, well-documented and open-source library, compomics-utilities greatly simplifies the implementation of the basic features needed in most proteomics tools. Implemented in 100% Java, compomics-utilities is fully portable across platforms and architectures. Our library thus allows the developers to focus on the novel aspects of their tools, rather than on the basic functions, which can contribute substantially to faster development, and better tools for proteomics. © 2011 Barsnes et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Mitternacht S.,Computational Biology Unit | Mitternacht S.,University of Bergen | Berezovsky I.N.,Computational Biology Unit
Protein Engineering, Design and Selection | Year: 2011

An important aspect of understanding protein allostery, and of artificial effector design, is the characterization and prediction of substrate-and effector-binding sites. To find binding sites in allosteric enzymes, many of which are oligomeric with allosteric sites at domain interfaces, we devise a local centrality measure for residue interaction graphs, which behaves well for both small/monomeric and large/multimeric proteins. The measure is purely structure based and has a clear geometrical interpretation and no free parameters. It is not biased towards typically catalytic residues, a property that is crucial when looking for non-catalytic effector sites, which are potent drug targets. © The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. Source

Goncearenco A.,Computational Biology Unit | Goncearenco A.,University of Bergen | Berezovsky I.N.,Computational Biology Unit
Bioinformatics | Year: 2011

Motivation: Earlier studies of protein structure revealed closed loops with a characteristic size 25-30 residues and ring-like shape as a basic universal structural element of globular proteins. Elementary functional loops (EFLs) have specific signatures and provide functional residues important for binding/activation and principal chemical transformation steps of the enzymatic reaction. The goal of this work is to show how these functional loops evolved from pre-domain peptides and to find a set of prototypes from which the EFLs of contemporary proteins originated. Results: This article describes a computational method for deriving prototypes of EFLs based on the sequences of complete genomes. The procedure comprises the iterative derivation of sequence profiles followed by their hierarchical clustering. The scoring function takes into account information content on profile positions, thus preserving the signature. The statistical significance of scores is evaluated from the empirical distribution of scores of the background model. A set of prototypes of EFLs from archaeal proteomes is derived. This set delineates evolutionary connections between major functions and illuminates how folds and functions emerged in pre-domain evolution as a combination of prototypes. © The Author(s) 2010. Source

Stadhouders R.,Erasmus Medical Center | Aktuna S.,Kings College London | Thongjuea S.,Computational Biology Unit | Thongjuea S.,Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine | And 13 more authors.
Journal of Clinical Investigation | Year: 2014

Genetic studies have identified common variants within the intergenic region (HBS1L-MYB) between GTP-binding elongation factor HBS1L and myeloblastosis oncogene MYB on chromosome 6q that are associated with elevated fetal hemoglobin (HbF) levels and alterations of other clinically important human erythroid traits. It is unclear how these noncoding sequence variants affect multiple erythrocyte characteristics. Here, we determined that several HBS1L-MYB intergenic variants affect regulatory elements that are occupied by key erythroid transcription factors within this region. These elements interact with MYB, a critical regulator of erythroid development and HbF levels. We found that several HBS1L-MYB intergenic variants reduce transcription factor binding, affecting long-range interactions with MYB and MYB expression levels. These data provide a functional explanation for the genetic association of HBS1L-MYB intergenic polymorphisms with human erythroid traits and HbF levels. Our results further designate MYB as a target for therapeutic induction of HbF to ameliorate sickle cell and β-thalassemia disease severity. Source

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