Computational Prediction of Electron Ionization Mass Spectra to Assist in GC/MS Compound Identification.

Allen, Felicity; Pon, Allison; Greiner, Russ; Wishart, David
Anal Chem 88 7689-7697 (2016).
Science Published: (May/2016)
DOI: 10.1021/acs.analchem.6b01622

We describe a tool, competitive fragmentation modeling for electron ionization (CFM-EI) that, given a chemical structure (e.g., in SMILES or InChI format), computationally predicts an electron ionization mass spectrum (EI-MS) (i.e., the type of mass spectrum commonly generated by gas chromatography mass spectrometry). The predicted spectra produced by this tool can be used for putative compound identification, complementing measured spectra in reference databases by expanding the range of compounds able to be considered when availability of measured spectra is limited. The tool extends CFM-ESI, a recently developed method for computational prediction of electrospray tandem mass spectra (ESI-MS/MS), but unlike CFM-ESI, CFM-EI can handle odd-electron ions and isotopes and incorporates an artificial neural network. Tests on EI-MS data from the NIST database demonstrate that CFM-EI is able to model fragmentation likelihoods in low-resolution EI-MS data, producing predicted spectra whose dot product scores are significantly better than full enumeration "bar-code" spectra. CFM-EI also outperformed previously reported results for MetFrag, MOLGEN-MS, and Mass Frontier on one compound identification task. It also outperformed MetFrag in a range of other compound identification tasks involving a much larger data set, containing both derivatized and nonderivatized compounds. While replicate EI-MS measurements of chemical standards are still a more accurate point of comparison, CFM-EI's predictions provide a much-needed alternative when no reference standard is available for measurement. CFM-EI is available at for download and as a web service.

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