bims-mascan Biomed News
on Mass spectrometry in cancer research
Issue of 2022‒09‒11
seventeen papers selected by
Giovanny Rodriguez Blanco
University of Edinburgh

  1. Anal Chem. 2022 Sep 07.
      Targeted and nontargeted metabolomics has the potential to evaluate and detect global metabolite changes in biological systems. Direct infusion mass spectrometric analysis enables detection of all ionizable small molecules, thus simultaneously providing information on both metabolites and lipids in chemically complex samples. However, to unravel the heterogeneity of the metabolic status of cells in culture and tissue a low number of cells per sample should be analyzed with high sensitivity, which requires low sample volumes. Here, we present the design and characterization of the direct infusion probe, DIP. The DIP is simple to build and position directly in front of a mass spectrometer for rapid metabolomics of chemically complex biological samples using pneumatically assisted electrospray ionization at 1 μL/min flow rate. The resulting data is acquired in a square wave profile with minimal carryover between samples that enhances throughput and enables several minutes of uniform MS signal from 5 μL sample volumes. The DIP was applied to study the intracellular metabolism of insulin secreting INS-1 cells and the results show that exposure to 20 mM glucose for 15 min significantly alters the abundance of several small metabolites, amino acids, and lipids.
  2. Mass Spectrom Rev. 2022 Sep 06. e21804
      Mass spectrometry (MS) has become a central technique in cancer research. The ability to analyze various types of biomolecules in complex biological matrices makes it well suited for understanding biochemical alterations associated with disease progression. Different biological samples, including serum, urine, saliva, and tissues have been successfully analyzed using mass spectrometry. In particular, spatial metabolomics using MS imaging (MSI) allows the direct visualization of metabolite distributions in tissues, thus enabling in-depth understanding of cancer-associated biochemical changes within specific structures. In recent years, MSI studies have been increasingly used to uncover metabolic reprogramming associated with cancer development, enabling the discovery of key biomarkers with potential for cancer diagnostics. In this review, we aim to cover the basic principles of MSI experiments for the nonspecialists, including fundamentals, the sample preparation process, the evolution of the mass spectrometry techniques used, and data analysis strategies. We also review MSI advances associated with cancer research in the last 5 years, including spatial lipidomics and glycomics, the adoption of three-dimensional and multimodal imaging MSI approaches, and the implementation of artificial intelligence/machine learning in MSI-based cancer studies. The adoption of MSI in clinical research and for single-cell metabolomics is also discussed. Spatially resolved studies on other small molecule metabolites such as amino acids, polyamines, and nucleotides/nucleosides will not be discussed in the context.
    Keywords:  DESI; MALDI; SIMS; cancer; glycans; lipids; mass spectrometry imaging; spatial metabolomics
  3. Methods Cell Biol. 2022 ;pii: S0091-679X(22)00062-0. [Epub ahead of print]172 37-50
      Lipid peroxidation occurs under conditions where reactive oxygen species (ROS) readily react with vulnerable lipids on cell membranes. Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are highly susceptible to lipid peroxidation because of their unstable double bonds. Because the cell membrane is particularly rich in PUFAs, it is often the site at which many lipid peroxidation chain reactions occur. Lipid peroxidation is considered the ultimate trigger of ferroptosis, an iron-dependent form of non-apoptotic cell death. Radiotherapy is a common cancer treatment that uses high-energy ionizing radiation to kill cancer cells, and radiation-induced cell death is partially attributed to lipid peroxidation-driven ferroptosis. Here, we describe methods to assess lipid peroxidation in irradiated cells. The same techniques can be applied to a variety of lipid peroxidation measurements under different treatment conditions.
    Keywords:  Cell death; Ferroptosis; Lipid peroxidation; Radiation; Reactive oxygen species
  4. Proteomics. 2022 Sep 10. e2200031
      Proteomic data are a uniquely valuable resource for drug response prediction and biomarker discovery because most drugs interact directly with proteins in target cells rather than with DNA or RNA. Recent advances in mass spectrometry and associated processing methods have enabled the generation of large-scale proteomic datasets. Here we review the significant opportunities that currently exist to combine large-scale proteomic data with drug-related research, a field termed pharmacoproteomics. We describe successful applications of drug response prediction using molecular data, with an emphasis on oncology. We focus on technical advances in data-independent acquisition mass spectrometry (DIA-MS) that can facilitate the discovery of protein biomarkers for drug responses, alongside the increased availability of big biomedical data. We spotlight new opportunities for machine learning in pharmacoproteomics, driven by the combination of these large datasets and improved high-performance computing. Finally, we explore the value of pre-clinical models for pharmacoproteomic studies and the accompanying challenges of clinical validation. We propose that pharmacoproteomics offers the potential for novel discovery and innovation within the cancer landscape. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Keywords:  Proteomics; biomarker; cancer; drug response; pharmacoproteomics
  5. J Proteome Res. 2022 Sep 06.
      This study demonstrates how the latest ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC) technology can be combined with high-resolution accurate-mass (HRAM) mass spectrometry (MS) and long columns packed with fully porous particles to improve bottom-up proteomics analysis with nanoflow liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (nanoLC-MS) methods. The increased back pressures from the UHPLC system enabled the use of 75 μm I.D. × 75 cm columns packed with 2 μm particles at a typical 300 nL/min flow rate as well as elevated and reduced flow rates. The constant pressure pump operation at 1500 bar reduced sample loading and column washing/equilibration stages and overall overhead time, which maximizes MS utilization time. The versatility of flow rate optimization to balance the sensitivity, throughput with sample loading amount, and capability of using longer gradients contributes to a greater number of peptide and protein identifications for single-shot bottom-up proteomics experiments. The routine proteome profiling and precise quantification of >7000 proteins with single-shot nanoLC-MS analysis open possibilities for large-scale discovery studies with a deep dive into the protein level alterations. Data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD035665.
    Keywords:  Orbitrap; UHPLC; bottom-up proteomics; high-resolution accurate-mass; long nanocolumns; nanoLC-MS; single-shot analysis
  6. Anal Chim Acta. 2022 Sep 15. pii: S0003-2670(22)00826-1. [Epub ahead of print]1226 340255
      Chemical isotope labeling (CIL) LC-MS is a powerful tool for metabolome analysis with markedly improved metabolomic coverage and quantification accuracy over the conventional LC-MS technique. In addition, with differential isotope labeling, each labeled metabolite is detected as a peak pair in the mass spectra, offering the possibility of differentiating true metabolite peaks from the singlet noise or background peaks. In this study, we examined the effects of instrument type on the detectability of true metabolites with a focus on the comparison of quadrupole time-of-flight (QTOF) and Orbitrap mass spectrometers. Using the same ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography setup and optimized running conditions for QTOF and Orbitrap, we compared the total number of peak pairs detected and identified from the two instruments using human urine and serum as the test samples. Many common peak pairs were detected from the two instruments; however, there were a significant number of unique peak pairs detected in each type of instrument. By combining the datasets obtained using QTOF and Orbitrap, the total number of peak pairs detected could be significantly increased. We also examined the effect of mass resolving power on peak pair detection in Orbitrap (60,000 vs. 120,000 resolution). The observed differences in peak pair detectability were much less than those of QTOF vs. Orbitrap. However, the type of peak pairs detected using different resolutions could be somewhat different, offering the possibility of increasing the overall number of peak pairs by combining the two datasets obtained at two different resolutions. The results from this study clearly indicate that instrument type can have a profound effect on metabolite detection in CIL LC-MS. Therefore, comparison of metabolome data generated using different instruments needs to be carefully done. Moreover, future research (e.g., hardware modifications) is warranted to minimize the differences in order to generate more reproducible metabolome data from different types of instruments.
    Keywords:  Chemical isotope labeling; Liquid chromatography; Mass spectrometry; Metabolomics; Orbitrap; QTOF
  7. Anal Chem. 2022 Sep 07.
      The biological impact of ether glycerophospholipids (GP) in peroxisomal disorders and other diseases makes them significant targets as biomarkers for diagnostic assays or deciphering pathology of the disorders. Ether lipids include both plasmanyl and plasmenyl lipids, which each contain an ether or a vinyl ether bond at the sn-1 linkage position, respectively. This linkage, in contrast to traditional diacyl GPs, precludes their detailed characterization by mass spectrometry via traditional collisional-based MS/MS techniques. Additionally, the isomeric nature of plasmanyl and plasmenyl pairs of ether lipids introduces a further level of complexity that impedes analysis of these species. Here, we utilize 213 nm ultraviolet photodissociation mass spectrometry (UVPD-MS) for detailed characterization of phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) and phosphatidylcholine (PC) plasmenyl and plasmanyl lipids in mouse brain tissue. 213 nm UVPD-MS enables the successful differentiation of these four ether lipid subtypes for the first time. We couple this UVPD-MS methodology to reversed-phase liquid chromatography (RPLC) for characterization and relative quantitation of ether lipids from normal and diseased (Pex7 deficiency modeling the peroxisome biogenesis disorder, RCDP) mouse brain tissue, highlighting the ability to pinpoint specific structural features of ether lipids that are important for monitoring aberrant lipid metabolism in peroxisomal disorders.
  8. Anal Chim Acta. 2022 Sep 15. pii: S0003-2670(22)00830-3. [Epub ahead of print]1226 340259
      Despite recent developments in separation techniques, the analysis of relatively small highly polar negatively charged analytes (e.g. small organic acids, phosphorylated sugars, and underivatized amino acids) remains challenging. Capillary electrophoresis coupled to mass spectrometry (CE-MS) has been included in the untargeted metabolomics toolbox, although mostly in positive polarity. The aim of this study was to assess the use of CE-MS to analyze highly polar and negatively charged metabolites at physiological levels without the need for derivatization. After a preliminary selection, conditions regarding CE (buffers, applied potential, injection time and applied pressure), electrospray parameters (sheath liquid flow, temperature and drying gas flow, nebulizer, and capillary voltage), and fragmentor voltage were optimized using a capillary coated with polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) for the metabolic profiling of anionic compounds compared to fused silica as the reference capillary. In addition, a database of 240 metabolites with two relative migration times (RMT) obtained against methionine sulfone and 2-morpholinoethanesulfonic acid (MES) as internal standards (IS) has been compiled. Finally, the optimized method has been used to characterize the metabolic profile of blood plasma in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The identified compounds are mostly amino acids and their derivatives, carboxylic acids and organic compounds from the TCA cycle, and sugars and their phosphoderivates. In addition, we performed a comparative study to find significant differences between non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) vs non-cancer individuals, and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and adenocarcinoma (ADC) vs non-cancer individuals, respectively, searching for differences between the various types of NSCLC.
    Keywords:  Anionic metabolites; Biological sample; CE-MS negative Polarity; untargeted metabolomics
  9. PLoS One. 2022 ;17(9): e0261803
      Cells adapt their metabolism to physiological stimuli, and metabolic heterogeneity exists between cell types, within tissues, and subcellular compartments. The liver plays an essential role in maintaining whole-body metabolic homeostasis and is structurally defined by metabolic zones. These zones are well-understood on the transcriptomic level, but have not been comprehensively characterized on the metabolomic level. Mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) can be used to map hundreds of metabolites directly from a tissue section, offering an important advance to investigate metabolic heterogeneity in tissues compared to extraction-based metabolomics methods that analyze tissue metabolite profiles in bulk. We established a workflow for the preparation of tissue specimens for matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) MSI that can be implemented to achieve broad coverage of central carbon, nucleotide, and lipid metabolism pathways. Herein, we used this approach to visualize the effect of nutrient stress and excess on liver metabolism. Our data revealed a highly organized metabolic tissue compartmentalization in livers, which becomes disrupted under high fat diet. Fasting caused changes in the abundance of several metabolites, including increased levels of fatty acids and TCA intermediates while fatty livers had higher levels of purine and pentose phosphate-related metabolites, which generate reducing equivalents to counteract oxidative stress. This spatially conserved approach allowed the visualization of liver metabolic compartmentalization at 30 μm pixel resolution and can be applied more broadly to yield new insights into metabolic heterogeneity in vivo.
  10. Cells. 2022 Aug 24. pii: 2627. [Epub ahead of print]11(17):
      NAD+ is an important metabolite in cell homeostasis that acts as an essential cofactor in oxidation-reduction (redox) reactions in various energy production processes, such as the Krebs cycle, fatty acid oxidation, glycolysis and serine biosynthesis. Furthermore, high NAD+ levels are required since they also participate in many other nonredox molecular processes, such as DNA repair, posttranslational modifications, cell signalling, senescence, inflammatory responses and apoptosis. In these nonredox reactions, NAD+ is an ADP-ribose donor for enzymes such as sirtuins (SIRTs), poly-(ADP-ribose) polymerases (PARPs) and cyclic ADP-ribose (cADPRs). Therefore, to meet both redox and nonredox NAD+ demands, tumour cells must maintain high NAD+ levels, enhancing their synthesis mainly through the salvage pathway. NAMPT, the rate-limiting enzyme of this pathway, has been identified as an oncogene in some cancer types. Thus, NAMPT has been proposed as a suitable target for cancer therapy. NAMPT inhibition causes the depletion of NAD+ content in the cell, leading to the inhibition of ATP synthesis. This effect can cause a decrease in tumour cell proliferation and cell death, mainly by apoptosis. Therefore, in recent years, many specific inhibitors of NAMPT have been developed, and some of them are currently in clinical trials. Here we review the NAD metabolism as a cancer therapy target.
    Keywords:  NAD metabolism; cancer; nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide; therapeutic target
  11. Molecules. 2022 Sep 05. pii: 5717. [Epub ahead of print]27(17):
      Fatty acids (FAs) play pleiotropic roles in living organisms, acting as signaling molecules and gene regulators. They are present in plants and foods and may affect human health by food ingestion. As a consequence, analytical methods for their determination in biological fluids, plants and foods have attracted high interest. Undoubtedly, mass spectrometry (MS) has become an indispensable technique for the analysis of FAs. Due to the inherent poor ionization efficiency of FAs, their chemical derivatization prior to analysis is often employed. Usually, the derivatization of the FA carboxyl group aims to charge reversal, allowing detection and quantification in positive ion mode, thus, resulting in an increase in sensitivity in determination. Another approach is the derivatization of the double bond of unsaturated FAs, which aims to identify the double bond location. The present review summarizes the various classes of reagents developed for FA derivatization and discusses their applications in the liquid chromatography-MS (LC-MS) analysis of FAs in various matrices, including plasma and feces. In addition, applications for the determination of eicosanoids and fatty acid esters of hydroxy fatty acids (FAHFAs) are discussed.
    Keywords:  charge reversal; derivatization reagents; fatty acids; liquid chromatography; mass spectrometry
  12. Anal Chem. 2022 Sep 06.
      Isobaric labeling is the most widely used multiplexing quantitative approach in proteomic studies, enabling the comparison of up to 18 samples in a single MS analysis. Expanding the multiplexing capacity is of great necessity for high-throughput proteomic studies. Herein, we establish a novel TAG-TMTpro approach by introducing Ala or Gly residues to peptides prior to TMTpro labeling, which is able to triple the quantitative capacity of TMTpro. We systematically evaluated the Boc-Ala-OSu and Boc-Gly-OSu reaction and optimized the conditions for labeling, side-product elimination, and Boc deprotection. We validated the identification and quantification performance using E. coli and HeLa cell lysates. We demonstrated that the TAG-TMTpro approach resulted in good identification reproducibility and reliable quantitative accuracy. The TAG-TMTpro is able to triple the multiplexing capacity of TMTpro reagents and is a versatile quantitative approach for high-throughput proteomic studies. Data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD033711.
  13. Anal Chem. 2022 Sep 10.
      Cascading divergent reactions in a single system is highly desirable for their intrinsic efficiency and potential to achieve multilevel structural characterization of complex biomolecules. In this work, two electrochemical reactions, interfacial electro-epoxidation and cobalt anodic corrosion, are divergently cascaded in nanoelectrospray (nESI) and can be switched at different voltages. We applied these reactions to lipid identification at multiple isomer levels using mass spectrometry (MS), which remains a great challenge in structural lipidomics. The divergent cascade reactions in situ derivatize lipids to produce epoxidized lipids and cobalt-adducted lipids at different voltages. These lipids are then fragmented upon low-energy collision-induced dissociation (CID), generating diagnostic fragments to indicate C═C locations and sn-positions that cannot be achieved by the low-energy CID of native lipids. We have demonstrated that lipid structural isomers show significantly different profiles in the analysis of healthy and cancerous mouse prostate samples using this strategy. The application of divergent cascade reactions in lipid identification allows the four-in-one analysis of lipid headgroups, fatty acyl chains, C═C locations, and sn-positions simply by tuning the nESI voltages within a single experiment. This feature as well as its low sample consumption, no need for an extra apparatus, and quantitative analysis capability show its great potential in lipidomics.
  14. Anal Chim Acta. 2022 Sep 15. pii: S0003-2670(22)00807-8. [Epub ahead of print]1226 340236
      Collision cross sections (CCS) have been described as relevant molecular descriptors in metabolomics and lipidomics analyses for ascertaining compound identity. Ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) allows to determine CCS with different techniques, such as drift tube ion mobility spectrometry (DTIMS), traveling wave ion mobility spectrometry (TWIMS) or trapped ion mobility spectrometry (TIMS). In contrast with DTIMS where CCS can be obtained directly with measured drift times and mathematical relationship, TWIMS and TIMS techniques require an additional step of calibration to obtain CCS values. However, literature reports significantly disparate CCS values depending on the calibrant used (often more than 10%), as no consensus has been reached to define a universal CCS reference standard or harmonized calibration procedure. Therefore, publicly available CCS databases cannot be regarded as readily interoperable and exchangeable. Here, we performed a comprehensive evaluation of 11 distinct CCS calibrants in a traveling wave ion mobility spectrometry-mass spectrometry (TWIMS-MS) instrument. We showed that, using lipids from plasma as model compounds, CCS determination drastically fluctuates from one calibrant to the other with up to 25% differences, which precludes direct CCS comparison. Using the large panel of calibration curves generated, we showed that any CCS value can be efficiently re-calibrated relatively to the calibration curve made with the widely used Tune Mix solution whatever the calibration procedure originally used. The re-calibrated CCS values for each calibrant constitute a database which allows to correct any deviation on lipid CCS values whatever the calibrant originally used. Resulting corrected CCS values from plasma lipids were thus efficiently matched to those previously reported in the literature (with deviations<2%). Therefore, this work shows that unique and comparable CCS values can be obtained upon re-calibration relatively to Tune Mix CCS values, while also paving the way for the establishment of a universal CCS database of various metabolite or lipid classes.
    Keywords:  Collision cross section; Ion mobility calibration; Ion mobility-mass spectrometry; Lipidomics; Metabolomics; TWIMS
  15. Cancer Discov. 2022 Sep 05. OF1-OF9
      Diet and exercise are modifiable lifestyle factors known to have a major influence on metabolism. Clinical practice addresses diseases of altered metabolism such as diabetes or hypertension by altering these factors. Despite enormous public interest, there are limited defined diet and exercise regimens for patients with cancer. Nevertheless, the molecular basis of cancer has converged over the past 15 years on an essential role for altered metabolism in cancer. However, our understanding of the molecular mechanisms that underlie the impact of diet and exercise on cancer metabolism is in its very early stages. In this perspective, I propose conceptual frameworks for understanding the consequences of diet and exercise on cancer cell metabolism and tumor biology and also highlight recent developments. By advancing our mechanistic understanding, I will discuss actionable ways that such interventions could eventually reach the mainstay of both medical oncology and cancer control and prevention.
  16. J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2022 Aug 27. pii: S1570-0232(22)00336-1. [Epub ahead of print]1210 123432
      An analytical platform is required to characterize the short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) in a mouse model of pathological immune conditions. Therefore, liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry combined with 2-picolylamine derivatization and a comprehensive study of SCFAs distribution based on serum, saliva, feces, liver, and brain from a mouse model of Sjögren's syndrome (SS) is performed. The design of experiments is used to achieve efficient 2-picolylamine derivatization, and optimize the reaction conditions. Twelve SCFAs are derivatized, and separated on a reversed-phase C18 column. All SCFAs show high linearity (r2 > 0.995) and intra/inter-day accuracy values from 71.6% to 115.6% (precision < 13.7%). This method was used to determine SCFAs concentrations in the serum, saliva, feces, liver, and brain of an SS model mice, and isobutyric acid, valeric acid, isovaleric acid, and 2-methylbutyric acid in liver from SS were significantly different compared with control group. Moreover, the preliminary evaluation of propionic acid, butyric acid, isobutyric acid, valeric acid, and isovaleric acid in saliva is conducted based on the respective SS stages and are correlated with these histological scores. This analytical platform for the widely SCFAs profiling in several tissues can be a clue for studying unclear immune pathophysiology.
    Keywords:  Biological sample; Derivatization; Design of experiments; Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry; Short-chain fatty acids; Sjögren’s syndrome; Stable isotope
  17. Proteomics. 2022 Sep 08. e2200014
      Data independent acquisition (DIA) proteomics techniques have matured enormously in recent years, thanks to multiple technical developments in e.g. instrumentation and data analysis approaches. However, there are many improvements that are still possible for DIA data in the area of the FAIR (Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability and Reusability) data principles. These include more tailored data sharing practices and open data standards, since public databases and data standards for proteomics were mostly designed with DDA data in mind. Here we first describe the current state of the art in the context of FAIR data for proteomics in general, and for DIA approaches in particular. For improving the current situation for DIA data, we make the following recommendations for the future: (i) development of an open data standard for spectral libraries; (ii) make mandatory the availability of the spectral libraries used in DIA experiments in ProteomeXchange resources; (iii) improve the support for DIA data in the data standards developed by the Proteomics Standards Initiative; and (iv) improve the support for DIA datasets in ProteomeXchange resources, including more tailored metadata requirements. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Keywords:  Data Independent Acquisition; data repositories; data standards; proteomics data; spectral libraries