Pre-processing liquid chromatography/high-resolution mass spectrometry data: extracting pure mass spectra by deconvolution from the invariance of isotopic distribution




Mass spectra obtained by deconvolution of liquid chromatography/high-resolution mass spectrometry (LC/HRMS) data can be impaired by non-informative mass-over-charge (m/z) channels. This impairment of mass spectra can have significant negative influence on further post-processing, like quantification and identification.


A metric derived from the knowledge of errors in isotopic distribution patterns, and quality of the signal within a pre-defined mass chromatogram block, has been developed to pre-select all informative m/z channels.


This procedure results in the clean-up of deconvoluted mass spectra by maintaining the intensity counts from m/z channels that originate from a specific compound/molecular ion, for example, molecular ion, adducts, 13C-isotopes, multiply charged ions and removing all m/z channels that are not related to the specific peak. The methodology has been successfully demonstrated for two sets of high-resolution LC/MS data.


The approach described is therefore thought to be a useful tool in the automatic processing of LC/HRMS data. It clearly shows the advantages compared to other approaches like peak picking and de-isotoping in the sense that all information is retained while non-informative data is removed automatically. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.