Software for the Analysis and Interpretation of Native Mass Spectrometry Data

The last few years have seen a dramatic increase in applications of native mass and ion mobility spectrometry, especially for the study of proteins and protein complexes. This increase has been catalysed by the availability of commercial instrumentation capable of carrying out such analyses. Like in most fields, however, the software to process the data generated from new instrumentation lags behind. Recently, a number of research groups have started addressing this by developing software, but further improvements are still required in order to realise the full potential of the datasets generated. Here we describe practical aspects as well as challenges in processing native mass spectrometry (MS) and ion mobility-MS datasets, and provide a brief overview of currently available tools. We then set out our vision of future developments that would bring the community together and lead to the development of a common platform to expedite future computational developments, provide standardised processing approaches and serve as a location for the deposition of data for this emerging field.