A typical high-sensitivity antibody affinity purification-mass spectrometry experiment easily identifies hundreds of protein interactors. However, most of these are non-valid resulting from multiple causes other than interaction with the bait protein. To discriminate true interactors from off-target recognition, we propose to differentially include an (peptide) antigen during the antibody incubation in the immuno-precipitation experiment. This contrasts the specific antibody-bait protein interactions, versus all other off-target protein interactions. To exemplify the power of the approach, we studied the DMXL2 interactome. From the initial six immuno-precipitations, we identified about 600 proteins. When filtering for interactors present in all anti-DMXL2 antibody immuno-precipitation experiments, absent in the bead controls, and competed off by the peptide antigen, this hit list is reduced to ten proteins, including known and novel interactors of DMXL2. Together, our approach enables the use of a wide range of available antibodies in large-scale protein interaction proteomics, while gaining specificity of the interactions. © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.