Publication — IRIC
ProteoConnections: a bioinformatics platform to facilitate proteome and phosphoproteome analyses.
Novel and improved computational tools are required to transform large-scale proteomics data into valuable information of biological relevance. To this end, we developed ProteoConnections, a bioinformatics platform tailored to address the pressing needs of proteomics analyses. The primary focus of this platform is to organize peptide and protein identifications, evaluate the quality of the acquired data set, profile abundance changes, and accelerate data interpretation. Peptide and protein identifications are stored into a relational database to facilitate data mining and to evaluate the quality of data sets using graphical reports. We integrated databases of known PTMs and other bioinformatics tools to facilitate the analysis of phosphoproteomics data sets and to provide insights for subsequent biological validation experiments. Phosphorylation sites are also annotated according to kinase consensus motifs, contextual environment, protein domains, binding motifs, and evolutionary conservation across different species. The practical application of ProteoConnections is further demonstrated for the analysis of the phosphoproteomics data sets from rat intestinal IEC-6 cells where we identified 9615 phosphorylation sites on 2108 phosphoproteins. Combined proteomics and bioinformatics analyses revealed valuable biological insights on the regulation of phosphoprotein functions via the introduction of new binding sites on scaffold proteins or the modulation of protein-protein, protein-DNA, or protein-RNA interactions. Quantitative proteomics data can be integrated into ProteoConnections to determine the changes in protein phosphorylation under different cell stimulation conditions or kinase inhibitors, as demonstrated here for the MEK inhibitor PD184352.