Product(s) used in this publication: Reference Peptides for Targeted Proteomics - SpikeTides™ & SpikeMix™
In data-independent acquisition mass spectrometry (DIA-MS), targeted extraction of peptide signals in silico using mass spectrometry assay libraries is a successful method for the identification and quantification of proteins. However, it remains unclear if high quality assay libraries with more accurate peptide ion coordinates can improve peptide target identification rates in DIA analysis. In this study, we systematically improved and evaluated the common algorithmic steps for assay library generation and demonstrate that increased assay quality results in substantially higher identification rates of peptide targets from mouse organ protein lysates measured by DIA-MS. The introduced changes are (1) a new spectrum interpretation algorithm, (2) reapplication of segmented retention time normalization, (3) a ppm fragment mass error matching threshold, (4) usage of internal peptide fragments, and (5) a multilevel false discovery rate calculation. Taken together, these changes yielded 14-36% more identified peptide targets at 1% assay false discovery rate and are implemented in three new open source tools, Fraggle, Tramler, and Franklin, available at github.com/fickludd/eviltools . The improved algorithms provide ways to better utilize discovery MS data, translating to substantially increased DIA performance and ultimately better foundations for drawing biological conclusions in DIA-based experiments.