New developments in profiling and imaging of proteins from tissue sections by MALDI mass spectrometry

J Proteome Res. 2006 Nov;5(11):2889-900. doi: 10.1021/pr060346u.


Molecular imaging of tissue by MALDI mass spectrometry is a powerful tool for visualizing the spatial distribution of constituent analytes with high molecular specificity. Although the technique is relatively young, it has already contributed to the understanding of many diverse areas of human health. In recent years, a great many advances in the practice of imaging mass spectrometry have taken place, making the technique more sensitive, robust, and ultimately useful. The purpose of this review is to highlight some of the more recent technological advances that have improved the efficiency of imaging mass spectrometry for clinical applications. Advances in the way MALDI mass spectrometry is integrated with histology, improved methods for automation, and better tools for data analysis are outlined in this review. Refined top-down strategies for the identification and validation of candidate biomarkers found in tissue sections are discussed. A clinical example highlighting the application of these methods to a cohort of clinical samples is described.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Gene Expression Profiling / methods
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Lung Neoplasms
  • Neoplasm Proteins / chemistry
  • Neoplasm Proteins / genetics
  • Proteins / chemistry
  • Proteins / genetics*
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization / instrumentation
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization / methods*
  • Transplantation, Heterologous


  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Proteins