Infrared Laser Ablation Microsampling Coupled with MALDI Imaging

International Mass Spectrometry Conference, Florence, Italy, August 28, 2018

Louisiana State University: Kermit K. Murray, Fabrizio Donnarumma, Kelin Wang, Carson W. Szot, Chao Dong,
Baylor University: Touradj Solouki, Michael E. Pettit

Introduction
Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) is a powerful method for determining the location of biomolecules in tissue; however, protein identification and quantification remains challenging. The goal of this project is to develop an imaging workflow that combines MALDI imaging with laser ablation microsampling for liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry.

Methods
In the combined workflow, MALDI imaging is used to identify regions of interest (ROI) from intact proteins. The ROI are sampled using infrared laser ablation and the captured material is analyzed by LC-MS/MS using data independent acquisition to identify and quantify the proteins. The data are cross-correlated to identify the localized proteins in the MALDI images.

Results
Development of the combined approach is aimed at creating an automated system for ablation and capture and using it in a coupled workflow of MALDI imaging and LC MS/MS analysis. The infrared laser ablation and capture system uses a mid-infrared optical parametric oscillator laser with a custom reflective objective that has a large working distance and good numerical aperture. We have developed custom positioning software that allows MALDI MSI heat maps to be overlaid on camera images to co-register ROI ablation with the IR laser. Tissue sections are mounted on conductive microscope slides and either consecutive sections or MALDI analyzed sections can be used. Laser ablated proteins are digested with magnetic capture beads and the peptides released for analysis with a Waters nanoAcquity UPLC system coupled to a Synapt G2-HDMS.

Conclusions
MALDI MSI coupled with region-specific laser ablation sampling for LC MS/MS is a fast and versatile approach for spatially resolved tissue proteomics. We have demonstrated that proteins can be identified from spatially localized regions and are developing new methods for correlating the intact proteins observed in MALDI with the proteins identified by tandem mass spectrometry.

Novel Aspect: Coupled MALDI imaging with high precision infrared laser ablation capture for LC MS/MS for protein identification and quantification.

Infrared laser ablation sampling coupled with data independent high resolution UPLC-IM-MS/MS for tissue analysis

Infrared laser ablation sampling coupled with data independent high resolution UPLC-IM-MS/MS for tissue analysis
M. E. Pettit, F. Donnarumma, K. K. Murray, & T. Solouki, Analytica Chimica Acta in Press, DOI: 10.1016/j.aca.2018.06.066

Infrared laser ablation sampling coupled with data independent high resolution UPLC-IM-MS/MS for tissue analysis DOI: 10.1016/j.aca.2018.06.066
Infrared laser ablation sampling coupled with data independent high resolution UPLC-IM-MS/MS for tissue analysis

Infrared laser ablation microsampling was used with data-dependent acquisition (DDA) and ion mobility-enhanced data-independent acquisition (HDMSE) for mass spectrometry based bottom-up proteomics analysis of rat brain tissue. Results from HDMSE and DDA analyses of the 12 laser ablation sampled tissue sections showed that HDMSE consistently identified approximately seven times more peptides and four times more proteins than DDA. To evaluate the impact of ultra-performance liquid chromatography (UPLC) peak congestion on HDMSE and DDA analysis, whole tissue digests from rat brain were analyzed at six different UPLC separation times. Analogous to results from laser ablated samples, HDMSE analyses of whole tissue digests yielded about four times more proteins identified than DDA for all six UPLC separation times.

Infrared laser ablation and capture of enzymes with conserved activity

Wang, K., Donnarumma, F., Baldone, M. D., & Murray, K. K. Infrared laser ablation and capture of enzymes with conserved activity. Anal Chim Acta, 1027, 41–46 (2018).

Graphical abstract: Infrared laser ablation and capture of enzymes with conserved activity
Graphical abstract: Infrared laser ablation and capture of enzymes with conserved activity

Abstract

Infrared (IR) laser ablation at 3 μm wavelength was used to extract enzymes from tissue and quantitatively determine their activity. Experiments were conducted with trypsin, which was ablated, captured and then used to digest bovine serum albumin (BSA). BSA digests were evaluated using matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) mass spectrometry (MS) and sequence coverage of 59% was achieved. Quantification was performed using trypsin and catalase standards and rat brain tissue by fluorescence spectroscopy. Both enzymes were reproducibly transferred with an efficiency of 75 ± 8% at laser fluences between 10 and 30 kJ/m2. Trypsin retained 37 ± 2% of its activity and catalase retained 50 ± 7%. The activity of catalase from tissue was tested using three consecutive 50 μm thick rat brain sections. Two 4 mm2 regions were ablated and captured from the cortex and cerebellum regions. The absolute catalase concentration in the two regions was consistent with previously published data, demonstrating transfer of intact enzymes from tissue.

IR Opolette 2940

IR Opolette 2940 side view.
IR Opolette 2940 side view.
Another laser and the second from OPOTEK this year: an IR Opolette 2940. It is fixed wavelength at 2940 nm for no other reason than that is the Er:YAG laser wavelength. It is possible to manually adjust the internal optics to generate light from 2700 to 3100 nm.

OPOTEK IR Opolette head (right) and Quantel
OPOTEK IR Opolette head (right) and Quantel

This laser has its roots in the STTR grant that I had with OPOTEK starting in 2001 (awarded when I was at Emory but moved immediately to LSU in the first year of Phase I). Our goal was to build an OPO with the capabilities of the Mirage 3000B but in a smaller package.

OPOTEK Opolette 2940 laser head.
OPOTEK Opolette 2940 laser head.

The left port gives access to the Nd:YAG laser fundamental at 1064 nm and the right port is the 2940 nm mid-IR at about 3 mJ per pulse at 20 Hz. Plenty of energy when focused to efficiently ablate thin films (similar to our wavelength tunable IR Opolette which you can see ablating things here.)

ASMS 2007: Laser Desorption Electrospray Ionization

J. Dong, Y. H. Rezenom, and K. K. Murray, “Aerosol Desorption Electrospray Ionization,” Presented at the 55th ASMS Conference on Mass Spectrometry, June 4, 2007, Indianapolis, Indiana, Ambient Ionization I, MP 006.

2007 ASMS: Aerosol Desorption Electrospray Ionization

American Society for Mass Spectrometry Workshop “Infrared Lasers for MALDI” June 4, 2007


IR Laser + Electrospray Instrument Photos April 16, 2007