Quantum leap with MaxQuant - New software implies crucial progress in proteomics
The multi-tasking talent MaxQuant accomplishes over night what used to take up to half a year to complete: With this software, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry have developed a tool that can identify proteins faster and more accurately than any other technology.
The multi-tasking talent MaxQuant accomplishes over night what used to take up to half a year to complete: With this software, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry have developed a tool that can identify proteins faster and more accurately than any other technology. It enables scientists for the first time to detect and compare the whole protein inventory of cells simultaneously – prerequisite is, that the proteins are first labelled with stable isotopes and then detected by mass spectrometry (MS). As a result of the MS analysis of the proteins present in cells or tissues, researchers often get several hundred thousands of peaks which then have to be attributed to certain proteins. The data analysis in MS-based proteomics is much more challenging than in other high-throughput technologies and was, until now, a time-consuming and cumbersome process – and consequently constituted a principal bottleneck.
The MaxQuant software can, on the other hand, control the data flood easily: Even if the concentrations are very low, the program can identify up to 73% of the sampled proteins at the push of a button – without the MaxQuant software, researchers are able to successfully identify only 10-20 percent of all sampled proteins. The significance of the MaxQuant software, therefore, is that it will considerably facilitate the process of identifying cellular proteins and promises substantial progress in proteomics in the future. What is special about the program is its ability to calculate from the raw data three dimensional peaks which can be analysed more sensitively and accurately: “MaxQuant achieves a six-fold increase in accuracy compared to usual methods”, emphasizes Dr. Jürgen Cox, who developed the program together with Professor Matthias Mann, the head of the department of Proteomics and Signal Transduction at the Max Planck Institute. One of the first successful applications of the program was the quantification of all proteins in yeast cells: “Without MaxQuant we would not have been able to do this”, Dr. Cox points out.
Jürgen Cox, Matthias Mann: MaxQuant enables high peptide identification rates, individualized p.p.b.-range mass accuracies and proteome-wide protein quantification. Nature Biotechnology. Published online: 30 November 2008, doi:10.1038/nbt.1511.
Dr. Jürgen Cox
Prof. Dr. Matthias Mann
Department of Protemics and Signal Transduction
Dr. Monika Gödde, Eva-Maria Diehl
phone. +49 (89) 8578 3882 /-2824
Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry
Am Klopferspitz 18, 82152 Martinsried near Munich, Germany