UniQua: A Universal Signal Processor for MS-Based Qualitative and Quantitative Proteomics Applications

Recent developments in high resolution mass spectrometry (HR-MS) technology have ushered proteomics into a new era. However, the importance of using a common, open data platform for signal processing of HR-MS spectra has not been sufficiently addressed. In this study, a MS signal processor was developed to facilitate data integration from different instruments and different proteomics approaches into a unified platform without compromising protein identification and quantitation performance. This processor supports parallel processing capability which allows full utilization of computing resources to speed up signal processing performance to >1 gigabytes/min. The storage space occupied by the processed MS data can be reduced to ∼10%, which helps the analysis and management of large quantities of data from comprehensive proteomics studies. For quantitation at the MS level, processing accuracy is improved and processing time for ASAPRatio is reduced to ∼50%. For quantitation at the MS/MS level, accurate reporter ion ratios from different instruments can be directly determined by the processed MS/MS spectra and reported in the Mascot search result directly without using specialized iTRAQ software. The software, source code, manual and raw data sets used in this study are available at http://msomics.abrc.sinica.edu.tw/UniQua/.