An effect size filter improves the reproducibility in spectral counting-based comparative proteomics

Josep Gregori, Laura Villarreal, Alex Sánchez, José Baselga, Josep Villanueva

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    12 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The microarray community has shown that the low reproducibility observed in gene expression-based biomarker discovery studies is partially due to relying solely on p-values to get the lists of differentially expressed genes. Their conclusions recommended complementing the p-value cutoff with the use of effect-size criteria. The aim of this work was to evaluate the influence of such an effect-size filter on spectral counting-based comparative proteomic analysis. The results proved that the filter increased the number of true positives and decreased the number of false positives and the false discovery rate of the dataset. These results were confirmed by simulation experiments where the effect size filter was used to evaluate systematically variable fractions of differentially expressed proteins. Our results suggest that relaxing the p-value cut-off followed by a post-test filter based on effect size and signal level thresholds can increase the reproducibility of statistical results obtained in comparative proteomic analysis. Based on our work, we recommend using a filter consisting of a minimum absolute log2 fold change of 0.8 and a minimum signal of 2-4 SpC on the most abundant condition for the general practice of comparative proteomics. The implementation of feature filtering approaches could improve proteomic biomarker discovery initiatives by increasing the reproducibility of the results obtained among independent laboratories and MS platforms. Biological significance: Quality control analysis of microarray-based gene expression studies pointed out that the low reproducibility observed in the lists of differentially expressed genes could be partially attributed to the fact that these lists are generated relying solely on p-values. Our study has established that the implementation of an effect size post-test filter improves the statistical results of spectral count-based quantitative proteomics. The results proved that the filter increased the number of true positives whereas decreased the false positives and the false discovery rate of the datasets. The results presented here prove that a post-test filter applying a reasonable effect size and signal level thresholds helps to increase the reproducibility of statistical results in comparative proteomic analysis. Furthermore, the implementation of feature filtering approaches could improve proteomic biomarker discovery initiatives by increasing the reproducibility of results obtained among independent laboratories and MS platforms.This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Standardization and Quality Control in Proteomics. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)55-65
    JournalJournal of Proteomics
    Volume95
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 16 Dec 2013

    Keywords

    • EdgeR
    • Effect size
    • Feature filters
    • Poisson
    • QSpec
    • Quasi-likelihood

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