MapQuant: open-source software for large-scale protein quantification

Proteomics. 2006 Mar;6(6):1770-82. doi: 10.1002/pmic.200500201.


Whole-cell protein quantification using MS has proven to be a challenging task. Detection efficiency varies significantly from peptide to peptide, molecular identities are not evident a priori, and peptides are dispersed unevenly throughout the multidimensional data space. To overcome these challenges we developed an open-source software package, MapQuant, to quantify comprehensively organic species detected in large MS datasets. MapQuant treats an LC/MS experiment as an image and utilizes standard image processing techniques to perform noise filtering, watershed segmentation, peak finding, peak fitting, peak clustering, charge-state determination and carbon-content estimation. MapQuant reports abundance values that respond linearly with the amount of sample analyzed on both low- and high-resolution instruments (over a 1000-fold dynamic range). Background noise added to a sample, either as a medium-complexity peptide mixture or as a high-complexity trypsinized proteome, exerts negligible effects on the abundance values reported by MapQuant and with coefficients of variance comparable to other methods. Finally, MapQuant's ability to define accurate mass and retention time features of isotopic clusters on a high-resolution mass spectrometer can increase protein sequence coverage by assigning sequence identities to observed isotopic clusters without corresponding MS/MS data.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Chromatography, Liquid
  • Isotope Labeling
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Peptides / analysis
  • Peptides / chemistry
  • Peptides / genetics
  • Peptides / isolation & purification
  • Proteins / analysis*
  • Proteome / analysis*
  • Proteomics / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Software*
  • Trypsin / pharmacology


  • Peptides
  • Proteins
  • Proteome
  • Trypsin