Thursday, January 30, 2014

PEAKS 7 Viewer on Mac OS X Mavericks

I wrote a post in early 2013 here to help users to run PEAKS as a Viewer on Mac OS or Linux. Similar procedure applies to PEAKS 7 as well. Many thanks to user ceinwyn that brought the issue to me that PEAKS DB search results cannot be opened.

I spent some spare time looking into this issue and luckily found a workaround. Just want to re-state my disclaimer here.

Disclaimer: PEAKS does not officially support any OS other than Windows as of the time I am writing the post. The software may not be fully functional. Activating the software on OS X or Linux will consume the license, which means the same license can not be used again. I strongly recommend only following the steps to configure PEAKS Viewer (the unlicensed Studio) on OS X or Linux for PEAKS result sharing and presentation purposes.

Basically what happened here is that PEAKS 7 has some sizing issue with the Auqa look and feel from Apple Mac OS X. The workaround is to change the look and feel to a cross-platform one that Apple also support. To make things easier, I have put a modified version of the jar file here. And here are the steps:
  1. Check the version of PEAKS. Go to Help -> About PEAKS. In the dialog, you should see the build number, e.g. build 20131119. This build number must match the number in the downloaded jar file in the above link.
  2. Close PEAKS.
  3. Download the jar file and replace the peaksstudio.jar in the PEAKS directory with this one.
  4. Start PEAKS and now the PEAKS DB search results can be opened. 

Enjoy PEAKS and happy sharing!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

De Novo Sequencing using Spectral Pairs or Triplets

PEAKS supports de novo sequencing using spectral pairs or triplets that are generated using different fragmentations. This is a feature introduced in PEAKS 7. Here is the poster that briefly described the method.

To use this function, simply specify the fragmentation mode as 'Mixed' during project creation, PEAKS will then automatically detect spectral pairs or triplets when doing de novo sequencing.


There are a few things to watch out though. When the fragmentation mode is set to 'Mixed', PEAKS will try to get this information from the data for each individual spectra. From the many datasets we have tested, this is generally not a problem for Thermo raw files. Other formats, especially some in-house generated XML files(e.g. mzXML, mzML) may be problematic as they either do not include the fragmentation mode information at all or PEAKS won't be able to retrieve the information for various reasons. In this case, PEAKS will ignore those spectrum, thus generating empty de novo sequencing results.

When the fragmentation mode information is available, the spectral pairs or triplets will be formed if the spectrum are from the same precursor ion in the same MS scan. The de novo sequencing result from a pair or triplet will be presented in a single row in the peptide table. The spectrum annotations for different fragmentation mode will be stacked vertically on the screen.


If you click the 'All candidates' button, all the calculated de novo sequences will be displayed in a pop up window. You can then click on those sequences to examine the spectrum annotation from individual fragmentation mode.

In the above example, although PEAKS has figured out the correct sequence using any one of the fragmentation mode, the confidence of the sequence from the triplet is much better.