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Cell Syst. 2018 Jan 24;6(1):25-36.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.cels.2017.12.001. Epub 2017 Dec 27.

Simultaneous Multiplexed Imaging of mRNA and Proteins with Subcellular Resolution in Breast Cancer Tissue Samples by Mass Cytometry.

Author information

1
Insitute of Molecular Life Sciences, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.
2
Insitute of Molecular Life Sciences, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland; Systems Biology PhD Program, Life Science Zurich Graduate School, ETH Zurich and University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.
3
Insitute of Molecular Life Sciences, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland. Electronic address: bernd.bodenmiller@imls.uzh.ch.

Abstract

To build comprehensive models of cellular states and interactions in normal and diseased tissue, genetic and proteomic information must be extracted with single-cell and spatial resolution. Here, we extended imaging mass cytometry to enable multiplexed detection of mRNA and proteins in tissues. Three mRNA target species were detected by RNAscope-based metal in situ hybridization with simultaneous antibody detection of 16 proteins. Analysis of 70 breast cancer samples showed that HER2 and CK19 mRNA and protein levels are moderately correlated on the single-cell level, but that only HER2, and not CK19, has strong mRNA-to-protein correlation on the cell population level. The chemoattractant CXCL10 was expressed in stromal cell clusters, and the frequency of CXCL10-expressing cells correlated with T cell presence. Our flexible and expandable method will allow an increase in the information content retrieved from patient samples for biomedical purposes, enable detailed studies of tumor biology, and serve as a tool to bridge comprehensive genomic and proteomic tissue analysis.

KEYWORDS:

HER2 expression in breast cancer; imaging mass cytometry; in situ mRNA detection; multiplexed mRNA and protein detection; single-cell analysis; tumor microenvironment

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