IDEAL-Q is an automated analysis tool for label-free quantitative proteomics. It accepts generic input format including mzXML raw data format and Mascot, SEQUEST, PeptideProphet/ProteinProphet for search result. IDEAL-Q uses an algorithm, called IDEAL (ID-based Elution time prediction by frAgmentaL regression), to predict the elution time based on confident peptide identification (ID) result, and thus the predicted elution time together with precursor m/z to can be used to locate the peptide signal in other LC-MS runs.
In comparison with conventional identity-based label-free quantitation analysis, the quantitation coverage in terms of percentage of identified peptides and proteins can be much increased. Furthermore, the tool adopts an stringent validation stelp on Signal-to-noise ratio, Charge state, Isotopic distribution (SCI validation) and modification type using computational and statistical methods so that quantitation accuracy can be ensured even with increased quantitation coverage. IDEAL-Q provides variously optional normalization tools for flexible workflow design such as addition of fractionation strategies and multiple spiked internal standards.