Prediction of missed proteolytic cleavages for the selection of surrogate peptides for quantitative proteomics

OMICS. 2012 Sep;16(9):449-56. doi: 10.1089/omi.2011.0156. Epub 2012 Jul 17.


Quantitative proteomics experiments are usually performed using proteolytic peptides as surrogates for their parent proteins, inferring protein amounts from peptide-level quantitation. This process is frequently dependent on complete digestion of the parent protein to its limit peptides so that their signal is truly representative. Unfortunately, proteolysis is often incomplete, and missed cleavage peptides are frequently produced that are unlikely to be optimal surrogates for quantitation, particularly for label-mediated approaches seeking to derive absolute values. We have generated a predictive computational tool that is able to predict which candidate proteolytic peptide bonds are likely to be missed by the standard enzyme trypsin. Our cross-validated prediction tool uses support vector machines and achieves high accuracy in excess of 0.94 precision (PPV), with attendant high sensitivity of 0.79, across multiple proteomes. We believe this is a useful tool for selecting candidate quantotypic peptides, seeking to minimize likely loss owing to missed cleavage, which will be a boon for quantitative proteomic pipelines as well as other areas of proteomics. Our results are discussed in the context of recent results examining the kinetics of missed cleavages in proteomic digestion protocols, and show agreement with observed experimental trends. The software has been made available at .

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Databases, Protein
  • Peptides / analysis*
  • Proteomics / methods*
  • Software
  • Support Vector Machine


  • Peptides