Background: iTRAQ technology for protein quantitation using mass spectrometry is a recent, powerful means of determining relative protein levels in up to four samples simultaneously. Although protein identification of samples generated using iTRAQ may be carried out using any current identification software, the quantitation calculations have been restricted to the ProQuant software supplied by Applied Biosciences. i-Tracker software has been developed to extract reporter ion peak ratios from non-centroided tandem MS peak lists in a format easily linked to the results of protein identification tools such as Mascot and Sequest. Such functionality is currently not provided by ProQuant, which is restricted to matching quantitative information to the peptide identifications from Applied Biosciences' Interrogator software.
Results: i-Tracker is shown to generate results that are consistent with those produced by ProQuant, thus validating both systems.
Conclusion: i-Tracker allows quantitative information gained using the iTRAQ protocol to be linked with peptide identifications from popular tandem MS identification tools and hence is both a timely and useful tool for the proteomics community.