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Methods Mol Biol. 2016;1401:199-207. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-3375-4_13.

Annotating and Interpreting Linear and Cyclic Peptide Tandem Mass Spectra.

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Interfaculty Institute for Microbiology and Infection Medicine, Eberhard Karls University, Auf der Morgenstelle 28, Tübingen, 72076, Germany.
German Centre for Infection Research (DZIF), Tübingen, Germany.


Nonribosomal peptides often possess pronounced bioactivity, and thus, they are often interesting hit compounds in natural product-based drug discovery programs. Their mass spectrometric characterization is difficult due to the predominant occurrence of non-proteinogenic monomers and, especially in the case of cyclic peptides, the complex fragmentation patterns observed. This makes nonribosomal peptide tandem mass spectra annotation challenging and time-consuming. To meet this challenge, software tools for this task have been developed. In this chapter, the workflow for using the software mMass for the annotation of experimentally obtained peptide tandem mass spectra is described. mMass is freely available (, open-source, and the most advanced and user-friendly software tool for this purpose. The software enables the analyst to concisely annotate and interpret tandem mass spectra of linear and cyclic peptides. Thus, it is highly useful for accelerating the structure confirmation and elucidation of cyclic as well as linear peptides and depsipeptides.


Annotation; Cyclic peptides; Depsipeptides; In silico fragmentation; Linear peptides; Nonribosomal peptides; Tandem mass spectrometry

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