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Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization imaging mass spectrometry (MALDI IMS) is a molecular imaging technology uniquely capable of untargeted measurement of proteins, lipids, and metabolites while retaining spatial information about their location in situ. This powerful combination of capabilities has the potential to bring a wealth of knowledge to the field of molecular histology. Translation of this innovative research tool into clinical laboratories requires the development of reliable sample preparation protocols for the analysis of proteins from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues, the standard preservation process in clinical pathology. Although ideal for stained tissue analysis by microscopy, the FFPE process cross-links, disrupts, or can remove proteins from the tissue, making analysis of the protein content challenging. To date, reported approaches differ widely in process and efficacy. This tutorial presents a strategy derived from systematic testing and optimization of key parameters, for reproducible in situ tryptic digestion of proteins in FFPE tissue and subsequent MALDI IMS analysis. The approach describes a generalized method for FFPE tissues originating from virtually any source.
© 2019 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
The ability to target discrete features within tissue using liquid surface extractions enables the identification of proteins while maintaining the spatial integrity of the sample. Here, we present a liquid extraction surface analysis (LESA) workflow, termed microLESA, that allows proteomic profiling from discrete tissue features of ∼110 μm in diameter by integrating nondestructive autofluorescence microscopy and spatially targeted liquid droplet micro-digestion. Autofluorescence microscopy provides the visualization of tissue foci without the need for chemical stains or the use of serial tissue sections. Tryptic peptides are generated from tissue foci by applying small volume droplets (∼250 pL) of enzyme onto the surface prior to LESA. The microLESA workflow reduced the diameter of the sampled area almost 5-fold compared to previous LESA approaches. Experimental parameters, such as tissue thickness, trypsin concentration, and enzyme incubation duration, were tested to maximize proteomics analysis. The microLESA workflow was applied to the study of fluorescently labeled Staphylococcus aureus infected murine kidney to identify unique proteins related to host defense and bacterial pathogenesis. Proteins related to nutritional immunity and host immune response were identified by performing microLESA at the infectious foci and surrounding abscess. These identifications were then used to annotate specific proteins observed in infected kidney tissue by MALDI FT-ICR IMS through accurate mass matching.
O -Alkylguanine DNA-alkyltransferase (AGT), a DNA repair protein, can form crosslinks with DNA. The AGT-DNA crosslinks are known to be mutagenic when AGT is heterologously expressed in Escherichia coli, as well as in mammalian cells. To understand the biological consequences, reliable access to AGT-oligonucleotide crosslinks is needed. This article describes the synthesis and characterization of site-specific AGT-oligonucleotide crosslinks at the N2-position of deoxyguanosine and N6-position of deoxyadenosine. We developed a post-oligomerization strategy for the synthesis of propargyl-modified oligonucleotides. Copper-catalyzed azide-alkyne cycloaddition was used as a key step to obtain the iodoacetamide-linked oligonucleotides, which serve as good electrophiles for the crosslinking reaction with cysteine-145 of the active site of AGT. Trypsinization of AGT and hydrolysis of oligonucleotides, combined with analysis by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry, was utilized to confirm the nucleobase-adducted peptides. This method provides a useful strategy for the synthesis and characterization of site-specific DNA-protein crosslinks, which can be further used to understand proteolytic degradation-coupled DNA repair mechanisms. © 2019 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
© 2019 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
The identification of proteins from tissue specimens is a challenging area of biological research. Many current techniques for identification forfeit some level of spatial information during the sample preparation process. Recently, hydrogel technologies have been developed that perform spatially localized protein extraction and digestion prior to downstream proteomic analysis. Regiospecific protein identifications acquired using this approach have thus far been limited to 1-2 mm diameter areas. The need to target smaller populations of cells with this technology necessitates the production of smaller diameter hydrogels. Herein, we demonstrate hydrogel fabrication processes that allow hydrogel applications down to a diameter of ∼260 μm, approximately 1/15 of the area of previous approaches. Parameters such as the percent polyacrylamide used in hydrogel construction as well as the concentration of trypsin with which the hydrogel is loaded are investigated to maximize the number of protein identifications from subsequent liquid chromatography tandem MS (LC-MS/MS) analysis of hydrogel extracts. An 18% polyacrylamide concentration is shown to provide for a more rigid polymer network than the conventional 7.5% polyacrylamide concentration and supports the fabrication of individual hydrogels using the small punch biopsies. Over 600 protein identifications are still achieved at the smallest hydrogel diameters of 260 μm. The utility of these small hydrogels is demonstrated through the analysis of sub regions of a rat cerebellum tissue section. While over 900 protein identifications are made from each hydrogel, approximately 20% of the proteins identified are unique to each of the two regions, highlighting the importance of targeting tissue subtypes to accurately characterize tissue biology. These newly improved methods to the hydrogel process will allow researchers to target smaller biological features for robust spatially localized proteomic analyses.
Prefabricated surfaces containing α-cyano-4-hydroxycinnamic acid and trypsin have been developed to facilitate enzymatic digestion of endogenous tissue proteins prior to matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) imaging mass spectrometry (IMS). Tissue sections are placed onto slides that were previously coated with α-cyano-4-hydroxycinnamic acid and trypsin. After incubation to promote enzymatic digestion, the tissue is analyzed by MALDI IMS to determine the spatial distribution of the tryptic fragments. The peptides detected in the MALDI IMS dataset were identified by Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry. Protein identification was further confirmed by correlating the localization of unique tryptic fragments originating from common parent proteins. Using this procedure, proteins with molecular weights as large as 300 kDa were identified and their distributions were imaged in sections of rat brain. In particular, large proteins such as myristoylated alanine-rich C-kinase substrate (29.8 kDa) and spectrin alpha chain, non-erythrocytic 1 (284 kDa) were detected that are not observed without trypsin. The pre-coated targets simplify workflow and increase sample throughput by decreasing the sample preparation time. Further, the approach allows imaging at higher spatial resolution compared with robotic spotters that apply one drop at a time. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Herein we present a simple, reproducible and versatile approach for in situ protein digestion and identification on formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues. This adaptation is based on the use of an enzyme delivery platform (hydrogel discs) that can be positioned on the surface of a tissue section. By simultaneous deposition of multiple hydrogels over select regions of interest within the same tissue section, multiple peptide extracts can be obtained from discrete histological areas. After enzymatic digestion, the hydrogel extracts are submitted for LC-MS/MS analysis followed by database inquiry for protein identification. Further, imaging mass spectrometry (IMS) is used to reveal the spatial distribution of the identified peptides within a serial tissue section. Optimization was achieved using cutaneous tissue from surgically excised pressure ulcers that were subdivided into two prime regions of interest: the wound bed and the adjacent dermal area. The robust display of tryptic peptides within these spectral analyses of histologically defined tissue regions suggests that LC-MS/MS in combination with IMS can serve as useful exploratory tools.
© 2015 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Protein quantification, identification, and abundance determination are important aspects of proteome characterization and are crucial in understanding biological mechanisms and human diseases. Different strategies are available to quantify proteins using mass spectrometric detection, and most are performed at the peptide level and include both targeted and untargeted methodologies. Discovery-based or untargeted approaches oftentimes use covalent tagging strategies (i.e., iTRAQ, TMT), where reporter ion signals collected in the tandem MS experiment are used for quantification. Herein we investigate the behavior of the iTRAQ 8-plex chemistry using MALDI-TOF/TOF instrumentation. The experimental design and data analysis approach described is simple and straightforward, which allows researchers to optimize data collection and proper analysis within a laboratory. iTRAQ reporter ion signals were normalized within each spectrum to remove peptide biases. An advantage of this approach is that missing reporter ion values can be accepted for purposes of protein identification and quantification without the need for ANOVA analysis. We investigate the distribution of reporter ion peak areas in an equimolar system and a mock biological system and provide recommendations for establishing fold-change cutoff values at the peptide level for iTRAQ data sets. These data provide a unique data set available to the community for informatics training and analysis.
Sarcoidosis is a systemic disease characterized by noncaseating granulomatous inflammation with tremendous clinical heterogeneity and uncertain pathobiology and lacking in clinically useful biomarkers. The Genomic Research in Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency and Sarcoidosis (GRADS) study is an observational cohort study designed to explore the role of the lung microbiome and genome in these two diseases. This article describes the design and rationale for the GRADS study sarcoidosis protocol. The study addresses the hypothesis that distinct patterns in the lung microbiome are characteristic of sarcoidosis phenotypes and are reflected in changes in systemic inflammatory responses as measured by peripheral blood changes in gene transcription. The goal is to enroll 400 participants, with a minimum of 35 in each of 9 clinical phenotype subgroups prioritized by their clinical relevance to understanding of the pathobiology and clinical heterogeneity of sarcoidosis. Participants with a confirmed diagnosis of sarcoidosis undergo a baseline visit with self-administered questionnaires, chest computed tomography, pulmonary function tests, and blood and urine testing. A research or clinical bronchoscopy with a research bronchoalveolar lavage will be performed to obtain samples for genomic and microbiome analyses. Comparisons will be made by blood genomic analysis and with clinical phenotypic variables. A 6-month follow-up visit is planned to assess each participant's clinical course. By the use of an integrative approach to the analysis of the microbiome and genome in selected clinical phenotypes, the GRADS study is powerfully positioned to inform and direct studies on the pathobiology of sarcoidosis, identify diagnostic or prognostic biomarkers, and provide novel molecular phenotypes that could lead to improved personalized approaches to therapy for sarcoidosis.
This study presents on-tissue proteolytic digestion using a microwave irradiation and peptide extraction method for in situ analysis of proteins from spatially defined regions of a tissue section. The methodology utilizes hydrogel discs (1 mm diameter) embedded with trypsin solution. The enzyme-laced hydrogel discs are applied to a tissue section, directing enzymatic digestion to a spatially confined area of the tissue. By applying microwave radiation, protein digestion is performed in 2 min on-tissue, and the extracted peptides are then analyzed by matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI MS) and liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). The reliability and reproducibility of the microwave assisted hydrogel mediated on-tissue digestion is demonstrated by the comparison with other on-tissue digestion strategies, including comparisons with conventional heating and in-solution digestion. LC-MS/MS data were evaluated considering the number of identified proteins as well as the number of protein groups and distinct peptides. The results of this study demonstrate that rapid and reliable protein digestion can be performed on a single thin tissue section while preserving the relationship between the molecular information obtained and the tissue architecture, and the resulting peptides can be extracted in sufficient abundance to permit analysis using LC-MS/MS. This approach will be most useful for samples that have limited availability but are needed for multiple analyses, especially for the correlation of proteomics data with histology and immunohistochemistry.
Insect prophenoloxidase (PPO) is an essential innate immunity protein to induce pathogen into melanization. In Bombyx mori, pro-phenoloxidase-activating enzyme (PPAE) can directly cleave and activate PPO. However, PPO in Manduca sexta cannot be cleaved into active phenoloxidase (PO) by serine proteases unless cofactors are involved, which indicates that PPO activation is complicated. Here we use recombinant Drosophila melanogaster prophenoloxidase 1 (rPPO1) to study the mechanism of PPO activation induced by a typical serine protease, α-chymotrypsin. Small amounts of α-chymotrypsin cleave rPPO1 at the N- and C-terminus to produce a large fragment rPPO1(N1/C1) that needs further cleavage by α-chymotrypsin to produce a smaller fragment rPO1(60-kD) with PO activity. rPO1(60-kD) oxidizes dopamine without being affected by high temperature, or by having salt and Ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA) in the solution. After incubation with dopamine, rPO1(60-kD) cannot be detected using reducing SDS-PAGE due to formation of a large complex. Trypsin, another typical serine protease, cleaves rPPO1 at the N- and C-terminus to produce a small fragment rPPO1(N'/C') without PO activity. Several rPPO1 mutants were created through over-expressing active fragments that have direct PO activity. They are easily cleaved by low amounts of α-chymotrypsin without increasing PO activity. Therefore, rPPO1 can be sequentially cleaved in at least three places by α-chymotrypsin to produce activated rPO1(60-kD).
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.