QCloud: A cloud-based quality control system for mass spectrometry-based proteomics laboratories

PLoS One. 2018 Jan 11;13(1):e0189209. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0189209. eCollection 2018.


The increasing number of biomedical and translational applications in mass spectrometry-based proteomics poses new analytical challenges and raises the need for automated quality control systems. Despite previous efforts to set standard file formats, data processing workflows and key evaluation parameters for quality control, automated quality control systems are not yet widespread among proteomics laboratories, which limits the acquisition of high-quality results, inter-laboratory comparisons and the assessment of variability of instrumental platforms. Here we present QCloud, a cloud-based system to support proteomics laboratories in daily quality assessment using a user-friendly interface, easy setup, automated data processing and archiving, and unbiased instrument evaluation. QCloud supports the most common targeted and untargeted proteomics workflows, it accepts data formats from different vendors and it enables the annotation of acquired data and reporting incidences. A complete version of the QCloud system has successfully been developed and it is now open to the proteomics community (http://qcloud.crg.eu). QCloud system is an open source project, publicly available under a Creative Commons License Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cloud Computing*
  • Mass Spectrometry / methods*
  • Proteomics / methods*
  • Quality Control

Grants and funding

This work was supported by: 1. “Plataforma de Recursos Biomoleculares y Bioinformáticos (ProteoRed)” supported by grant PT13/0001 of Instituto de Salud Carlos III from the Spanish Government, http://www.isciii.es/. 2. Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, “Centro de Excelencia Severo Ochoa 2013-2017”, SEV-2012-0208, http://www.mineco.gob.es/. 3. “Secretaria d’Universitats i Recerca del Departament d’Economia i Coneixement de la Generalitat de Catalunya” (2014SGR678), www.gencat.cat.