N-glycan MALDI Imaging Mass Spectrometry on Formalin-Fixed Paraffin-Embedded Tissue Enables the Delineation of Ovarian Cancer Tissues.
ABSTRACT: Ovarian cancer is a fatal gynaecological malignancy in adult women with a five-year overall survival rate of only 30%. Glycomic and glycoproteomic profiling studies have reported extensive protein glycosylation pattern alterations in ovarian cancer. Therefore, spatio-temporal investigation of these glycosylation changes may unearth tissue-specific changes that occur in the development and progression of ovarian cancer. A novel method for investigating tissue-specific N-linked glycans is using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue sections that can spatially profile N-glycan compositions released from proteins in tissue-specific regions. In this study, tissue regions of interest (e.g. tumor, stroma, adipose tissue and necrotic areas) were isolated from FFPE tissue sections of advanced serous ovarian cancers (n = 3). PGC-LC-ESI-MS/MS and MALDI-MSI were used as complementary techniques to firstly generate structural information on the tissue-specific glycans in order to then obtain high resolution images of the glycan structure distribution in ovarian cancer tissue. The N-linked glycan repertoires carried by the proteins in these tissue regions were structurally characterized for the first time in FFPE ovarian cancer tissue regions, using enzymatic peptide-N-glycosidase F (PNGase F) release of N-glycans. The released glycans were analyzed by porous graphitized carbon liquid chromatography (PGC-LC) and collision induced electrospray negative mode MS fragmentation analysis. The N-glycan profiles identified by this analysis were then used to determine the location and distribution of each N-glycan on FFPE ovarian cancer sections that were treated with PNGase F using high resolution MALDI-MSI. A tissue-specific distribution of N-glycan structures identified particular regions of the ovarian cancer sections. For example, high mannose glycans were predominantly expressed in the tumor tissue region whereas complex/hybrid N-glycans were significantly abundant in the intervening stroma. Therefore, tumor and non-tumor tissue regions were clearly demarcated solely on their N-glycan structure distributions.
Project description:Glycosylation is a major protein post-translational modification whose dysregulation has been associated with many diseases. Herein, an on-tissue chemical derivatization strategy based on positively charged hydrazine reagent (Girard's reagent P) coupled with matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry imaging (MALDI-MSI) was developed for analysis of N-glycans from FFPE treated tissue sections. The performance of the proposed approach was evaluated by analysis of monosaccharides, oligosaccharides, N-glycans released from glycoproteins, as well as MS imaging of N-glycans from human cancer tissue sections. The results demonstrated that the signal-to-noise ratios for target saccharides were notably improved after chemical derivatization, in which signals were enhanced by 230-fold for glucose and over 28-fold for maltooctaose. Improved glycome coverage was obtained for N-glycans derived from glycoproteins and tissue samples after chemical derivatization. Furthermore, on-tissue derivatization was applied for MALDI-MSI of N-glycans from human laryngeal cancer and ovarian cancer tissues. Differentially expressed N-glycans among the tumor region, adjacent normal tissue region, and tumor proximal collagen stroma region were imaged, revealing that high-mannose type N-glycans were predominantly expressed in the tumor region. Overall, our results indicate that the on-tissue labeling strategy coupled with MALDI-MSI shows great potential to spatially characterize N-glycan expression within heterogeneous tissue samples with enhanced sensitivity. This study provides a promising approach to better understand the pathogenesis of cancer related aberrant glycosylation, which is beneficial to the design of improved clinical diagnosis and therapeutic strategies.
Project description:N-linked glycosylation, featuring various glycoforms, is one of the most common and complex protein post-translational modifications (PTMs) controlling protein structures and biological functions. It has been revealed that abnormal changes of protein N-glycosylation patterns are associated with many diseases. Hence, unraveling the disease-related alteration of glycosylation, especially the glycoforms, is crucial and beneficial to improving our understanding about the pathogenic mechanisms of various diseases. In past decades, given the capability of in situ mapping of biomolecules and their region-specific localizations, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry imaging (MALDI-MSI) has been widely applied to the discovery of potential biomarkers for many diseases. In this study, we coupled a novel subatmospheric pressure (SubAP)/MALDI source with a Q Exactive HF hybrid quadrupole-orbitrap mass spectrometer for in situ imaging of N-linked glycans from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue sections. The utility of this new platform for N-glycan imaging analysis was demonstrated with a variety of FFPE tissue sections. A total of 55 N-glycans were successfully characterized and visualized from a FFPE mouse brain section. Furthermore, 29 N-glycans with different spatial distribution patterns could be identified from a FFPE mouse ovarian cancer tissue section. High-mannose N-glycans exhibited elevated expression levels in the tumor region, indicating the potential association of this type of N-glycans with tumor progression.
Project description:Glycosylation in cancer is a highly dynamic process that has a significant impact on tumor biology. Further, the attachment of aberrant glycan forms is already considered a hallmark of the disease state. Mass spectrometry has become a prominent approach to analyzing glycoconjugates. Specifically, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation -mass spectrometric imaging (MALDI-MSI) is a powerful technique that combines mass spectrometry with histology and enables the spatially resolved and label-free detection of glycans. The most common approach to the analysis of glycans is the use of mass spectrometry adjunct to PNGase F digestion and other chemical reactions. In the current study, we perform the analysis of formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues for natively occurring bioactive glycan fragments without prior digestion or chemical reactions using MALDI-FT-ICR-MSI. We examined 106 primary resected gastric cancer patient tissues in a tissue microarray and correlated native-occurring fragments with clinical endpoints, therapeutic targets such as epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and HER2/neu expressions and the proliferation marker MIB1. The detection of a glycosaminoglycan fragment in tumor stroma regions was determined to be an independent prognostic factor for gastric cancer patients. Native glycan fragments were significantly linked to the expression of EGFR, HER2/neu and MIB1. In conclusion, we are the first to report the <i>in situ</i> detection of native-occurring bioactive glycan fragments in FFPE tissues that influence patient outcomes. These findings highlight the significance of glycan fragments in gastric cancer tumor biology and patient outcome.
Project description:Aberrant glycosylation is associated with most of the diseases. Direct imaging and profiling of N-glycans on tissue sections can reveal tissue-specific and/or disease-associated N-glycans, which not only could serve as molecular signatures for diagnosis but also shed light on the functional roles of these biomolecules. Mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) is a powerful tool that has been used to correlate peptides, proteins, lipids, and metabolites with their underlying histopathology in tissue sections. Here, we report an MSI technique for direct analysis of N-glycans from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues. This technique consists of sectioning FFPE tissues, deparaffinization, and rehydration of the sections, denaturing tissue proteins, releasing N-linked glycans from proteins by printing peptide-N-glycosidase F over the sections, spray-coating the tissue with matrix, and analyzing N-glycans by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS). Brain sections from a C57BL/6 mouse were imaged using this technique at a resolution of 100 ?m. Forty-two N-glycans were analyzed from the mouse brain section. The mass spectrometry images were used to study the relative abundance of oligomannose, nonfucosylated, and fucosylated complex N-glycans in different brain areas including isocortex, hippocampal formation, and brainstem and specific glycans associated with different areas of the brain were identified. Furthermore, glioblastoma tumor xenografts in a NOD/SCID mouse were imaged. Several glycans with differential expression in tumor versus normal brain tissues were identified. The MSI technique allows for imaging of N-glycans directly from FFPE sections. This method can potentially identify tissue-specific and/or disease-associated glycans coexpressed with other molecular signatures or within certain histological structures.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) remains one of the deadliest malignancies to date. The impressively developed stroma that surrounds and modulates the behavior of cancer cells is one of the main factors regulating the PDAC growth, metastasis and therapy resistance. Here, we postulate that stromal and cancer cell compartments differentiate in protein/lipid glycosylation patterns and analyze differences in glycan fragments in those compartments with clinicopathologic correlates.<h4>Results</h4>We analyzed native glycan fragments in 109 human FFPE PDAC samples using high mass resolution matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization Fourier-transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometric imaging (MALDI-FT-ICR-MSI). Our method allows detection of native glycan fragments without previous digestion with PNGase or any other biochemical reaction. With this method, 8 and 18 native glycans were identified as uniquely expressed in only stromal or only cancer cell compartment, respectively. Kaplan-Meier survival model identified glycan fragments that are expressed in cancer cell or stromal compartment and significantly associated with patient outcome. Among cancer cell region-specific glycans, 10 predicted better and 6 worse patient survival. In the stroma, 1 glycan predicted good and 4 poor patient survival. Using factor analysis as a dimension reduction method, we were able to group the identified glycans in 2 factors. Multivariate analysis revealed that these factors can be used as independent survival prognostic elements with regard to the established Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) classification both in tumor and stroma regions.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Our method allows in situ detection of naturally occurring glycans in FFPE samples of human PDAC tissue and highlights the differences among glycans found in stromal and cancer cell compartment offering a basis for further exploration on the role of specific glycans in cancer-stroma communication.
Project description:A recently developed matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization imaging mass spectrometry (MALDI-IMS) method to spatially profile the location and distribution of multiple N-linked glycan species in frozen tissues has been extended and improved for the direct analysis of glycans in clinically derived formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues. Formalin-fixed tissues from normal mouse kidney, human pancreatic and prostate cancers, and a human hepatocellular carcinoma tissue microarray were processed by antigen retrieval followed by on-tissue digestion with peptide N-glycosidase F. The released N-glycans were detected by MALDI-IMS analysis, and the structural composition of a subset of glycans could be verified directly by on-tissue collision-induced fragmentation. Other structural assignments were confirmed by off-tissue permethylation analysis combined with multiple database comparisons. Imaging of mouse kidney tissue sections demonstrates specific tissue distributions of major cellular N-linked glycoforms in the cortex and medulla. Differential tissue distribution of N-linked glycoforms was also observed in the other tissue types. The efficacy of using MALDI-IMS glycan profiling to distinguish tumor from non-tumor tissues in a tumor microarray format is also demonstrated. This MALDI-IMS workflow has the potential to be applied to any FFPE tissue block or tissue microarray to enable higher throughput analysis of the global changes in N-glycosylation associated with cancers.
Project description:N-glycans are important players in a variety of pathologies including different types of cancer, (auto)immune diseases, and also viral infections. Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS) is an important tool for high-throughput N-glycan profiling and, upon use of tandem MS, for structure determination. By use of MALDI-MS imaging (MSI) in combination with PNGase F treatment, also spatially correlated N-glycan profiling from tissue sections becomes possible. Here we coupled laser-induced postionization, or MALDI-2, to a trapped ion mobility quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometer (timsTOF fleX MALDI-2, Bruker Daltonics). We demonstrate that with MALDI-2 the sensitivity for the detection of molecular [M - H]- species of N-glycans increased by about 3 orders of magnitude. Compared to the current gold standard, the positive ion mode analysis of [M + Na]+ adducts, a sensitivity increase by about a factor of 10 is achieved. By exploiting the advantageous fragmentation behavior of [M - H]- ions, exceedingly rich structural information on the composition of complex N-glycans was moreover obtained directly from thin tissue sections of human cerebellum and upon use of low-energy collision-induced dissociation tandem MS. In another set of experiments, in this case by use of a modified Synapt G2-S QTOF mass spectrometer (Waters), we investigated the influence of relevant input parameters, in particular pressure of the N2 cooling gas in the ion source, delay between the two laser pulses, and that of their pulse energies. In this way, analytical conditions were identified at which molecular ion abundances were maximized and fragmentation reactions minimized. The use of negative ion mode MALDI-2-MSI could constitute a valuable tool in glycobiology research.
Project description:It has been recognised for a long time that cell surface glycans plays a vital role in the biological process and their altered form can lead to cancer. However, the molecular details and regulatory mechanism between the glycans and cancer is yet not clear. Over the past decade mass spectrometry-based techniques has become a prominent method for analysing glycans especially N-glycan matrix assisted laser desorption/ionisation mass spectrometry imaging (MALDI MSI). It is a powerful technique that combines mass spectrometry with histology, enabling the visualisation and label free detection of N-linked glycans on a single tissue section. Here, we carried out N-glycan MALDI MSI on six endometrial cancer (EC) formalin fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) tissue sections including the adjacent normal endometrium, and tissue microarrays (TMA) consisting of 8 EC patients with lymph node metastasis (LNM) and 20 without LNM. By doing that several m/z values were detected that can significantly distinguish normal endometrium from cancerous. Also, detected a m/z value that can discriminate the primary tumour with LNM from those without. Identification of those discriminative m/z values was performed using porous graphitized carbon liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (PGC-LC-MS/MS). Overall, we observed higher abundance of oligomannose in tumour regions compared to normal with AUC ranges from 0.85-0.99. Whereas, complex N-glycans were detected in lower abundance with AUC ranges from 0.03-0.28. Comparison of N-glycans between the primary tumours with LNM and without LNM indicates reduced abundance of a complex core-fucosylated N-glycan in patients with metastasis relative to without. In summary, N-glycan MALDI MSI can be used to characterize the cancerous endometrium from the normal, also patients with LNM from those without. Identification of those discriminative m/z values was performed using porous graphitized carbon liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (PGC-LC-MS/MS).
Project description:In this work, the capability of newly developed hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography (HILIC) coupled with matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-mass spectrometric imaging (MALDI-MSI) platform for quantitative analysis of N-glycans has been demonstrated. As a proof-of-principle experiment, heavy and light stable-isotope labeled hydrazide reagents labeled maltodextrin ladder were used to demonstrate the feasibility of the HILIC-MALDI-MSI platform for reliable quantitative analysis of N-glycans. MALDI-MSI analysis by an Orbitrap mass spectrometer enabled high-resolution and high-sensitivity detection of N-glycans eluted from HILIC column, allowing the re-construction of LC chromatograms as well as accurate mass measurements for structural inference. MALDI-MSI analysis of the collected LC traces showed that the chromatographic resolution was preserved. The N-glycans released from human serum was used to demonstrate the utility of this novel platform in quantitative analysis of N-glycans from a complex sample. Benefiting from the minimized ion suppression provided by HILIC separation, comparison between MALDI-MS and the newly developed platform HILIC-MALDI-MSI revealed that HILIC-MALDI-MSI provided higher N-glycan coverage as well as better quantitation accuracy in the quantitative analysis of N-glycans released from human serum. Graphical abstract Reconstructed chromatograms based on HILIC-MALDI-MSI results of heavy and light labeled maltodextrin enabling quantitative glycan analysis.
Project description:<h4>Purpose</h4>To facilitate the transition of MALDI-MS Imaging (MALDI-MSI) from basic science to clinical application, it is necessary to analyze formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues. The aim is to improve in situ tryptic digestion for MALDI-MSI of FFPE samples and determine if similar results would be reproducible if obtained from different sites.<h4>Experimental design</h4>FFPE tissues (mouse intestine, human ovarian teratoma, tissue microarray of tumor entities sampled from three different sites) are prepared for MALDI-MSI. Samples are coated with trypsin using an automated sprayer then incubated using deliquescence to maintain a stable humid environment. After digestion, samples are sprayed with CHCA using the same spraying device and analyzed with a rapifleX MALDI Tissuetyper at 50 µm spatial resolution. Data are analyzed using flexImaging, SCiLS, and R.<h4>Results</h4>Trypsin application and digestion are identified as sources of variation and loss of spatial resolution in the MALDI-MSI of FFPE samples. Using the described workflow, it is possible to discriminate discrete histological features in different tissues and enabled different sites to generate images of similar quality when assessed by spatial segmentation and PCA.<h4>Conclusions and clinical relevance</h4>Spatial resolution and site-to-site reproducibility can be maintained by adhering to a standardized MALDI-MSI workflow.