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Mass spectrometric imaging of cysteine rich proteins in human skin

Vanickova, Lucie, Guran, Roman, Kollár, Sándor, Emri, Gabriella, Krizkova, Sona, Do, Tomas, Heger, Zbynek, Zitka, Ondrej, Adam, Vojtech
International journal of biological macromolecules 2019 v.125 pp. 270-277
antibodies, biomarkers, biopsy, cysteine, desorption, image analysis, immunohistochemistry, mass spectrometry, melanoma, monitoring, principal component analysis, protein composition, proteins, skin (animal), squamous cell carcinoma
Looking insight pathological processes, metallothioneins (MTs) are considered to be potential biomarkers for monitoring of a development of various types of diseases, such as cancer. The early identification of the MTs in biological tissues could be important tool for the estimation of appropriate clinical therapy. Therefore, here we investigated the application of matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry imaging (MALDI MSI) together with immunohistochemical analyses (IHC) using MT-1/2 antibody for MT detection in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) biopsy specimens of human skin. Principal component analyses revealed differences in the peptide/protein profiles separating healthy skin from the carcinoma specimens. Statistically significant ion peaks at m/z 6038, 6300, 6676, and 7026 were more frequently detected in squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and melanoma. Using IHC, we found that MT-1/2 was significantly higher in SCC and melanoma compared to healthy skin. Surprisingly, significantly low levels of MT-1/2 were found in BCC. On one side, the results indicate important role of MTs in melanoma occurrence and progression, as on the second side, there are hidden processes associated with MTs based on differences of the occurrence of the MS peaks, which could be associated with cycling of MTs isoforms.