Identification of differentially expressed splice variants by the proteogenomic pipeline splicify

Malgorzata A. Komor, Thang V. Pham, Annemieke C. Hiemstra, Sander R. Piersma, Anne S. Bolijn, Tim Schelfhorst, Pien M. Delis-Van Diemen, Marianne Tijssen, Robert P. Sebra, Meredith Ashby, Gerrit A. Meijer, Connie R. Jimenez, Remond J.A. Fijneman

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28 Citations (Scopus)


Proteogenomics, i.e. comprehensive integration of genomics and proteomics data, is a powerful approach identifying novel protein biomarkers. This is especially the case for proteins that differ structurally between disease and control conditions. As tumor development is associated with aberrant splicing, we focus on this rich source of cancer specific biomarkers. To this end, we developed a proteogenomic pipeline, Splicify, which can detect differentially expressed protein isoforms. Splicify is based on integrating RNA massive parallel sequencing data and tandem mass spectrometry proteomics data to identify protein isoforms resulting from differential splicing between two conditions. Proof of concept was obtained by applying Splicify to RNA sequencing and mass spectrometry data obtained from colorectal cancer cell line SW480, before and after siRNA-mediated downmodulation of the splicing factors SF3B1 and SRSF1. These analyses revealed 2172 and 149 differentially expressed isoforms, respectively, with peptide confirmation upon knock-down of SF3B1 and SRSF1 compared with their controls. Splice variants identified included RAC1, OSBPL3, MKI67, and SYK. One additional sample was analyzed by PacBio Iso-Seq full-length transcript sequencing after SF3B1 downmodulation. This analysis verified the alternative splicing identified by Splicify and in addition identified novel splicing events that were not represented in the human reference genome annotation. Therefore, Splicify offers a validated proteogenomic data analysis pipeline for identification of disease specific protein biomarkers resulting from mRNA alternative splicing. Splicify is publicly available on GitHub ( SPLICIFY) and suitable to address basic research questions using pre-clinical model systems as well as translational research questions using patient-derived samples, e.g. allowing to identify clinically relevant biomarkers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1850-1863
Number of pages14
JournalMolecular and Cellular Proteomics
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017

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