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Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 411, Issue 25, pp 6575–6581 | Cite as

An external quality assurance trial to assess mass spectrometry protein testing facilities for identifying multiple human peptides

  • Martin P. HoranEmail author
  • Peter Hoffmann
  • Matthew T. Briggs
  • Mark Condina
  • Shane Herbert
  • Jason Ito
  • Alison Rodger
  • Matthew McKay
  • David Maltby
  • Ben Crossett
  • Laila N. Abudulai
  • Michael W. Clarke
  • Tony Badrick
Communication

Abstract

The application of proteomic liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS) for identifying proteins and peptides associated with human disease is rapidly growing in clinical diagnostics. However, the ability to accurately and consistently detect disease-associated peptides remains clinically uncertain. Variability in diagnostic testing occurs in part due to the absence of appropriate reference testing materials and standardised clinical guidelines for proteomic testing. In addition, multiple proteomic testing pipelines have not been fully assessed through external quality assurance (EQA). This trial was therefore devised to evaluate the performance of a small number of mass spectrometry (MS) testing facilities to (i) evaluate the EQA material for potential usage in a proteomic quality assurance program, and to (ii) identify key problem areas associated with human peptide testing. Five laboratories were sent six peptide reference testing samples formulated to contain a total of 35 peptides in differing ratios of light (natural) to heavy (labelled) peptides. Proficiency assessment of laboratory data used a modified approach to similarity and dissimilarity testing that was based on Bray-Curtis and Sorensen indices. Proficiency EQA concordant consensus values could not be derived from the assessed data since none of the laboratories correctly identified all reference testing peptides in all samples. However, the produced data may be reflective of specific inter-laboratory differences for detecting multiple peptides since no two testing pipelines used were the same for any laboratory. In addition, laboratory feedback indicated that peptide filtering of the reference material was a common key problem area prior to analysis. These data highlight the importance of an EQA programme for identifying underlying testing issues so that improvements can be made and confidence for clinical diagnostic analysis can be attained.

Keywords

Mass spectrometry External quality assurance Clinical diagnostics 

Notes

Grant funding source

This work was supported by the Quality Use of Pathology Program (QUPP) funding, Australia.

Compliance with ethical standards

All authors have given their consent to the manuscript. No human or animal studies were involved in this study.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

216_2019_2047_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (285 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 285 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin P. Horan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Peter Hoffmann
    • 2
  • Matthew T. Briggs
    • 2
  • Mark Condina
    • 2
  • Shane Herbert
    • 3
  • Jason Ito
    • 3
  • Alison Rodger
    • 4
  • Matthew McKay
    • 4
  • David Maltby
    • 5
  • Ben Crossett
    • 5
  • Laila N. Abudulai
    • 6
    • 7
  • Michael W. Clarke
    • 6
    • 7
  • Tony Badrick
    • 1
  1. 1.Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia Quality Assurance Programs, Molecular GeneticsSydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Future Industries Institute, Mawson Lakes CampusUniversity of South AustraliaAdelaideAustralia
  3. 3.Proteomics International Pty LtdPerthAustralia
  4. 4.Australian Proteome Analysis Facility, Department of Molecular SciencesMacquarie UniversitySydneyAustralia
  5. 5.Sydney Mass SpectrometryThe University of SydneyCamperdownAustralia
  6. 6.Metabolomics Australia, Centre for Microscopy, Characterisation and AnalysisThe University of Western AustraliaPerthAustralia
  7. 7.The University of Western AustraliaSchool of Molecular SciencesPerthAustralia

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