Pinpointing Biomarkers in Proteomic LC/MS Data by Moving-Window Discriminant Analysis

The identification of differential patterns in data originating from combined measurement techniques such as LC/MS is pivotal to proteomics. Although “shotgun proteomics” has been employed successfully to this end, this method also has severe drawbacks, because of its dependence on largely untargeted MS/MS sequencing and databases for statistical analyses. Alternatively, several MS-signal-based (MS/MS-independent) methods have been published that are mainly based on (univariate) Student’s t-tests. Here, we present a more robust multivariate alternative employing linear discriminant analysis. Like the t-test-based methods, it is applied directly to LC/MS data, instead of using MS/MS measurements. We demonstrate the method on a number of simulated data sets, as well as on a spike-in LC/MS data set, and show its superior performance over t-tests.