Algorithms for the de novo sequencing of peptides from tandem mass spectra
Proteomics is the study of proteins, their time- and location-dependent expression profiles, as well as their modifications and interactions. Mass spectrometry is useful to investigate many of the questions asked in proteomics. Database search methods are typically employed to identify proteins from complex mixtures. However, databases are not often available or, despite their availability, some sequences are not readily found therein. To overcome this problem, de novo sequencing can be used to directly assign a peptide sequence to a tandem mass spectrometry spectrum. Many algorithms have been proposed for de novo sequencing and a selection of them are detailed in this article. Although a standard accuracy measure has not been agreed upon in the field, relative algorithm performance is discussed. The current state of the de novo sequencing is assessed thereafter and, finally, examples are used to construct possible future perspectives of the field. © 2011 Expert Reviews Ltd.