Benchmarking Bioinformatics Pipelines in Data-Independent Acquisition Mass Spectrometry for Immunopeptidomics

Shahbazy, Mohammad, et al. “Benchmarking Bioinformatics Pipelines in Data-Independent Acquisition Mass Spectrometry for Immunopeptidomics.” Molecular & Cellular Proteomics 22.4 (2023).


Immunopeptidomes are the peptide repertoires bound by the molecules encoded by the major histocompatibility complex [human leukocyte antigen (HLA) in humans]. These HLA–peptide complexes are presented on the cell surface for immune T-cell recognition. Immunopeptidomics denotes the utilization of tandem mass spectrometry to identify and quantify peptides bound to HLA molecules. Data-independent acquisition (DIA) has emerged as a powerful strategy for quantitative proteomics and deep proteome-wide identification; however, DIA application to immunopeptidomics analyses has so far seen limited use. Further, of the many DIA data processing tools currently available, there is no consensus in the immunopeptidomics community on the most appropriate pipeline(s) for in-depth and accurate HLA peptide identification. Herein, we benchmarked four commonly used spectral library-based DIA pipelines developed for proteomics applications (Skyline, Spectronaut, DIA-NN, and PEAKS) for their ability to perform immunopeptidome quantification. We validated and assessed the capability of each tool to identify and quantify HLA-bound peptides. Generally, DIA-NN and PEAKS provided higher immunopeptidome coverage with more reproducible results. Skyline and Spectronaut conferred more accurate peptide identification with lower experimental false-positive rates. All tools demonstrated reasonable correlations in quantifying precursors of HLA-bound peptides. Our benchmarking study suggests a combined strategy of applying at least two complementary DIA software tools to achieve the greatest degree of confidence and in-depth coverage of immunopeptidome data.