Mass spectrometry (MS) based immunopeptidomics is used in several biomedical applications including neo-epitope discovery in oncology, next-generation vaccine development and protein-drug immunogenicity assessment. Immunopeptidome data are highly complex given the expression of multiple HLA alleles on the cell membrane and presence of co-immunoprecipitated contaminants. The absence of tools that deal with these challenges effectively and guide the analysis and interpretation of this complex type of data is currently a major bottleneck for the large-scale application of this technique. To resolve this, we here present the MHCMotifDecon that benefits from state-of-the-art HLA class-I and class-II predictions to accurately deconvolute immunopeptidome datasets and assign individual ligands to the most likely HLA molecule, allowing to identify and characterize HLA binding motifs while discarding co-purified contaminants. We have benchmarked the tool against other state-of-the-art methods and illustrated its application on experimental datasets for HLA-DR demonstrating a previously underappreciated role for HLA-DRB3/4/5 molecules in defining HLA class II immune repertoires. With its ease of use, MHCMotifDecon can efficiently guide interpretation of immunopeptidome datasets, serving the discovery of novel T cell targets. MHCMotifDecon is available at https://services.healthtech.dtu.dk/service.php?MHCMotifDecon-1.0.
- MHC motif deconvolution
- Mass spectrometry