Product(s) used in this publication: Reference Peptides for Targeted Proteomics - SpikeTides™ & SpikeMix™
Effective analysis of protein samples by mass spectrometry (MS) requires careful selection and optimization of a range of experimental parameters. As the output from the primary detection device, the "raw" MS data file can be used to gauge the success of a given sample analysis. However, the closed-source nature of the standard raw MS file can complicate effective parsing of the data contained within. To ease and increase the range of analyses possible, the RawQuant tool was developed to enable parsing of raw MS files derived from Thermo Orbitrap instruments to yield meta and scan data in an openly readable text format. RawQuant can be commanded to export user-friendly files containing MS1, MS2, and MS3 metadata as well as matrices of quantification values based on isobaric tagging approaches. In this study, the utility of RawQuant is demonstrated in several scenarios: (1) reanalysis of shotgun proteomics data for the identification of the human proteome, (2) reanalysis of experiments utilizing isobaric tagging for whole-proteome quantification, and (3) analysis of a novel bacterial proteome and synthetic peptide mixture for assessing quantification accuracy when using isobaric tags. Together, these analyses successfully demonstrate RawQuant for the efficient parsing and quantification of data from raw Thermo Orbitrap MS files acquired in a range of common proteomics experiments. In addition, the individual analyses using RawQuant highlights parametric considerations in the different experimental sets and suggests targetable areas to improve depth of coverage in identification-focused studies and quantification accuracy when using isobaric tags.