Single-cell proteomics has the potential to decipher tumor heterogeneity, and a method like single-cell proteomics by mass spectrometry (SCoPE-MS) allows profiling several tens of single cells for >1,000 proteins per cell. This method, however, cannot link the proteome of individual cells with phenotypes of interest. Here, we developed a microscopy-based functional single-cell proteomic-profiling technology, called FUNpro, to address this. FUNpro enables screening, identification, and isolation of single cells of interest in a real-time fashion, even if the phenotypes are dynamic or the cells of interest are rare. We applied FUNpro to proteomically profile a newly identified small subpopulation of U2OS osteosarcoma cells displaying an abnormal, prolonged DNA damage response (DDR) after ionizing radiation (IR). With this, we identified the PDS5A protein contributing to the abnormal DDR dynamics and helping the cells survive after IR.
Keywords: 53BP1; DDR foci dynamics; DNA damage response; PDS5A; functional single-cell selection; phenotype-to-proteome linking; phototagging; single-cell proteomics; tumor heterogeneity; ultrawide field-of-view optical microscope.
© 2022 The Author(s).