Accurate and Efficient Resolution of Overlapping Isotopic Envelopes in Protein Tandem Mass Spectra

Kaijie Xiao; Fan Yu; Houqin Fang; Bingbing Xue; Yan Liu; Zhixin Tian
October 2015
Scientific Reports;10/9/2015, p1
Academic Journal
It has long been an analytical challenge to accurately and efficiently resolve extremely dense overlapping isotopic envelopes (OIEs) in protein tandem mass spectra to confidently identify proteins. Here, we report a computationally efficient method, called OIE_CARE, to resolve OIEs by calculating the relative deviation between the ideal and observed experimental abundance. In the OIE_CARE method, the ideal experimental abundance of a particular overlapping isotopic peak (OIP) is first calculated for all the OIEs sharing this OIP. The relative deviation (RD) of the overall observed experimental abundance of this OIP relative to the summed ideal value is then calculated. The final individual abundance of the OIP for each OIE is the individual ideal experimental abundance multiplied by 1 + RD. Initial studies were performed using higher-energy collisional dissociation tandem mass spectra on myoglobin (with direct infusion) and the intact E. coli proteome (with liquid chromatographic separation). Comprehensive data at the protein and proteome levels, high confidence and good reproducibility were achieved. The resolving method reported here can, in principle, be extended to resolve any envelope-type overlapping data for which the corresponding theoretical reference values are available.


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