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Metabolomics. 2010 Sep;6(3):335-340. Epub 2010 Mar 7.

"Lossless" compression of high resolution mass spectra of small molecules.

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1
Biomolecular Mass Spectrometry Unit, Department of Parasitology, Leiden University Medical Center, PO Box 9600, 2300 RC Leiden, The Netherlands.

Abstract

Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FTICR) provides the highest resolving power of any commercially available mass spectrometer. This advantage is most significant for species of low mass-to-charge ratio (m/z), such as metabolites. Unfortunately, FTICR spectra contain a very large number of data points, most of which are noise. This is most pronounced at the low m/z end of spectra, where data point density is the highest but peak density low. We therefore developed a filter that offers lossless compression of FTICR mass spectra from singly charged metabolites. The filter relies on the high resolving power and mass measurement precision of FTICR and removes only those m/z channels that cannot contain signal from singly charged organic species. The resulting pseudospectra still contain the same signal as the original spectra but less uninformative background. The filter does not affect the outcome of standard downstream chemometric analysis methods, such as principal component analysis, but use of the filter significantly reduces memory requirements and CPU time for such analyses. We demonstrate the utility of the filter for urinary metabolite profiling using direct infusion electrospray ionization and a 15 tesla FTICR mass spectrometer. ELECTRONIC SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIAL: The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11306-010-0202-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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