Increased Identification of Peptides by Enhanced Data Processing of High-Resolution MALDI TOF/TOF Mass Spectra Prior to Database Searching

Anal Chem. 2004 Oct 15;76(20):6017-28. doi: 10.1021/ac049247v.


This paper presents application of sequential enhanced data processing procedures to high-resolution tandem mass spectra for identification of peptides using the Mascot database search algorithm. A strategy for (1) selection of fragment ion peaks from MS/MS spectra, (2) utilization of improved mass accuracy of the precursor ions, and (3) wavelet denoising of the mass spectra prior to fragment ion selection have been developed. The number of peptide identifications obtained using the enhanced processing was then compared with that obtained using software provided by the instrument manufacturer. Approximately 9000 MS/MS spectra acquired by the Applied Biosystems 4700 TOF/TOF MS instrument were used as a model data set. After application of the new processing, an increase of 33% unique peptides and 22% protein identifications with at least two unique peptides were found. The influence of the processing on the percentage of false positives, estimated by searching against a randomized database, was estimated to increase false positive identifications from 2.7 to 3.9%, which was still below the 5% error rate specified in the Mascot search. These data processing approaches increase the amount of information that can be extracted from LC-MS analysis without the necessity of additional experiments.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Information Storage and Retrieval*
  • Peptides / chemistry*
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization / methods*


  • Peptides