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J Proteome Res. 2008 Mar;7(3):969-78. doi: 10.1021/pr070464x. Epub 2008 Feb 5.

MALDI imaging of formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues: application to model animals of Parkinson disease for biomarker hunting.

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Université des Sciences et Technologies de Lille, FRE-CNRS 2933, MALDI Imaging Team, Laboratoire de Neuroimmunologie des Annélides, IFR 147, Cité Scientifique, 59655 Villeneuve d'Ascq Cedex, France.


A common technique for the long-term storage of tissues in hospitals and clinical laboratories is preservation in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) blocks. Such tissues stored for more than five years have not been useful for proteomic studies focused on biomarker discovery. Recently, MS-based proteomic analyses of FFPE showed positive results on blocks stored for less than 2 days. However, most samples are stored for more than one year, and thus our objective was to establish a novel strategy using as a model system 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) treated rat brain tissues stored in FFPE blocks for more than 9 years. We examined MALDI tissue profiling combining the use of automatic spotting of the MALDI matrix with in situ tissue enzymatic digestion. On adjacent sections, the identification of compounds is carried out by tissue digestion followed by nanoLC/MS-MS analysis. The combination of these approaches provides MALDI direct analysis, MALDI/MS imaging, as well as the localization of a large number of proteins. This method is validated since the analyses confirmed that ubiquitin, trans-elongation factor 1, hexokinase, and the Neurofilament M are down-regulated as previously shown in human or Parkinson animal models. In contrast, peroxidoredoxin 6, F1 ATPase, and alpha-enolase are up-regulated. In addition, we uncovered three novel putative biomarkers, the trans-elongation factor 1 (eEF1) and the collapsin response mediator 1 and 2 from protein libraries. Finally, we validate the CRMP-2 protein using immunocytochemistry and MALDI imaging based on the different ions from trypsic digestion of the protein. The access to archived FFPE tissue using MALDI profiling and imaging opens a whole new area in clinical studies and biomarker discovery from hospital biopsy libraries.

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