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Spatially Resolved Proteome Profiling of <200 Cells from Tomato Fruit Pericarp by Integrating Laser-Capture Microdissection with Nanodroplet Sample Preparation

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posted on 17.08.2018, 00:00 by Yiran Liang, Ying Zhu, Maowei Dou, Kerui Xu, Rosalie K. Chu, William B. Chrisler, Rui Zhao, Kim K. Hixson, Ryan T. Kelly
Due to sensitivity limitations, global proteome measurements generally require large amounts of biological starting material, which masks heterogeneity within the samples and differential protein expression among constituent cell types. Methods for spatially resolved proteomics are being developed to resolve protein expression for distinct cell types among highly heterogeneous tissues, but have primarily been applied to mammalian systems. Here we evaluate the performance of cell-type-specific proteome analysis of tomato fruit pericarp tissues by a platform integrating laser-capture microdissection (LCM) and a recently developed automated sample preparation system (nanoPOTS, nanodroplet processing in one pot for trace samples). Tomato fruits were cryosectioned prior to LCM and tissues were dissected and captured directly into nanoPOTS chips for processing. Following processing, samples were analyzed by nanoLC-MS/MS. Approximately 1900 unique peptides and 422 proteins were identified on average from ∼0.04 mm2 tissues comprising ∼8–15 parenchyma cells. Spatially resolved proteome analyses were performed using cells of outer epidermis, collenchyma, and parenchyma. Using ≤200 cells, a total of 1,870 protein groups were identified and the various tissues were easily resolved. The results provide spatial and tissue-specific insights into key enzymes and pathways involved in carbohydrate transport and source–sink relationships in tomato fruit. Of note, at the time of fruit ripening studied here, we identified differentially abundant proteins throughout the pericarp related to chlorophyll biogenesis, photosynthesis, and especially transport.