Binomial probability distribution model-based protein identification algorithm for tandem mass spectrometry utilizing peak intensity information

J Proteome Res. 2013 Jan 4;12(1):328-35. doi: 10.1021/pr300781t. Epub 2012 Nov 29.


Mass spectrometry has become one of the most important technologies in proteomic analysis. Tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) is a major tool for the analysis of peptide mixtures from protein samples. The key step of MS data processing is the identification of peptides from experimental spectra by searching public sequence databases. Although a number of algorithms to identify peptides from MS/MS data have been already proposed, e.g. Sequest, OMSSA, X!Tandem, Mascot, etc., they are mainly based on statistical models considering only peak-matches between experimental and theoretical spectra, but not peak intensity information. Moreover, different algorithms gave different results from the same MS data, implying their probable incompleteness and questionable reproducibility. We developed a novel peptide identification algorithm, ProVerB, based on a binomial probability distribution model of protein tandem mass spectrometry combined with a new scoring function, making full use of peak intensity information and, thus, enhancing the ability of identification. Compared with Mascot, Sequest, and SQID, ProVerB identified significantly more peptides from LC-MS/MS data sets than the current algorithms at 1% False Discovery Rate (FDR) and provided more confident peptide identifications. ProVerB is also compatible with various platforms and experimental data sets, showing its robustness and versatility. The open-source program ProVerB is available at .

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Databases, Protein
  • Internet
  • Models, Statistical
  • Peptides* / genetics
  • Peptides* / isolation & purification
  • Probability
  • Proteins* / genetics
  • Proteins* / isolation & purification
  • Software
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry*


  • Peptides
  • Proteins