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proteiNorm – A User-Friendly Tool for Normalization and Analysis of TMT and Label-Free Protein Quantification

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journal contribution
posted on 30.09.2020 by Stefan Graw, Jillian Tang, Maroof K Zafar, Alicia K Byrd, Chris Bolden, Eric C. Peterson, Stephanie D Byrum
The technological advances in mass spectrometry allow us to collect more comprehensive data with higher quality and increasing speed. With the rapidly increasing amount of data generated, the need for streamlining analyses becomes more apparent. Proteomics data is known to be often affected by systemic bias from unknown sources, and failing to adequately normalize the data can lead to erroneous conclusions. To allow researchers to easily evaluate and compare different normalization methods via a user-friendly interface, we have developed “proteiNorm”. The current implementation of proteiNorm accommodates preliminary filters on peptide and sample levels followed by an evaluation of several popular normalization methods and visualization of the missing value. The user then selects an adequate normalization method and one of the several imputation methods used for the subsequent comparison of different differential expression methods and estimation of statistical power. The application of proteiNorm and interpretation of its results are demonstrated on two tandem mass tag multiplex (TMT6plex and TMT10plex) and one label-free spike-in mass spectrometry example data set. The three data sets reveal how the normalization methods perform differently on different experimental designs and the need for evaluation of normalization methods for each mass spectrometry experiment. With proteiNorm, we provide a user-friendly tool to identify an adequate normalization method and to select an appropriate method for differential expression analysis.