A Universal Score for Deconvolution of Intact Protein and Native Electrospray Mass Spectra

20 November 2019, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


The growing use of intact protein mass analysis, top-down proteomics, and native mass spectrometry have created a need for improved data analysis pipelines for deconvolution of electrospray (ESI) mass spectra containing multiple charge states and potentially without isotopic resolution. Although there are multiple deconvolution algorithms, there is no consensus for how to judge the quality of the deconvolution, and many scoring schemes are not published. Here, an intuitive universal score (UniScore) for ESI deconvolution is presented. The UniScore is the weighted average of deconvolution scores (DScores) for each peak. Each DScore is composed of separate components to score 1) the uniqueness and fit of the deconvolution to the data, 2) the consistency of the peak shape across different charge states, 3) the smoothness of the charge state distribution, and 4) symmetry and separation of the peak. Example scores are provided for a range of experimental and simulated data. By providing a means of judging the quality of the overall deconvolution as well as individual mass peaks, the UniScore scheme provides a foundation for standardizing ESI data analysis of larger molecules and enabling the use of ESI deconvolution in automated data analysis pipelines.


native mass spectrometry

Supplementary materials

Supporting Information 2


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