An introduction to advanced targeted acquisition methods


  • M. van Bentum
  • M. Selbach


  • Molecular & Cellular Proteomics


  • Mol Cell Proteomics 20: 100165


  • Targeted proteomics via selected reaction monitoring (SRM) or parallel reaction monitoring (PRM) enables fast and sensitive detection of a preselected set of target peptides. However, the number of peptides that can be monitored in conventional targeting methods is usually rather small. Recently, a series of methods has been described that employ intelligent acquisition strategies to increase the efficiency of mass spectrometers to detect target peptides. These methods are based on one of two strategies. First, retention time adjustment-based methods enable intelligent scheduling of target peptide retention times. These include Picky, iRT, as well as spike-in free real time adjustment methods like MaxQuant.Live. Second, in spike-in triggered acquisition methods like SureQuant, Pseudo-PRM, TOMAHAQ and Scout-MRM, targeted scans are initiated by abundant labeled synthetic peptides added to samples before the run. Both strategies enable the mass spectrometer to better focus data acquisition time on target peptides. This either enables more sensitive detection or a higher number of targets per run. Here, we provide an overview of available advanced targeting methods and highlight their intrinsic strengths and weaknesses and compatibility with specific experimental setups. Our goal is to provide a basic introduction to advanced targeting methods for people starting to work in this field.