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Proteomics Core

The MUSC Proteomics Center focuses on clinical and translational proteomics and the development of centralized diagnostics. Two DDRCC-sponsored cores include the established Mass Spectrometry Facility for proteomic services, and a new core established for biomolecular mass spectrometry imaging, the Mass Spectrometry Imaging Research Center. Mass spectrometry (MS) is the key analytical method for proteomics research, and the Center has a comprehensive, complementary suite of instrumentation for proteomic analyses.

In the clinical setting, MS-driven qualitative and quantitative proteomics can be used to profile disease and/or patient-specific proteins, protein modifications, and small molecules and monitor biomarker changes in response to therapy or disease progression. Extension of MS profiling to two- or three-dimensions using tissue scanning technologies on histology specimens enables biomarker-driven disease profiling and staging in greater depth. As well, the ability to monitor molecular changes at the cell and tissue level facilitates the more insightful development of hypotheses regarding disease mechanisms.

Quantitative proteomics can provide unbiased insights into pathophysiological mechanisms and the response to therapeutics. Available approaches include, but are not limited to, mapping of drug-, RNA-, or protein-protein interactions, and global or targeted measurements of changes in protein abundance, cellular phosphorylation, glycosylation and other post-translational modifications in response to genetic or signal perturbations.

Mass spectrometry tissue imaging approaches are performed on tissue sections to localize lipids, glycans, and collagens to the tissue pathology. The MUSC Proteomics Center offers unique capabilities for multiplexed ‘Omics, whereby multiple classes of analytes can be profiled within the same specimen. Imaging mass spectrometry approaches can also be applied to cultured cells for profiling of certain metabolites, lipids and N-glycans.

Lauren Ball and studentThe Center leverages high-performance computing resources with modern protein search algorithms, mass spectrometry-based quantitative analysis, statistical analysis (frequentist or Bayesian techniques), data-driven systems biology, -omic integration techniques, and classifier development (machine learning based) to generate actionable and hypothesis driving results for investigators.

Current instrumentation in the two core laboratories, the Mass Spectrometry Facility and Mass Spectrometry Imaging Research Center includes:

1. Two orbitrap mass spectrometers (ThermoScientific Orbitrap Fusion Lumos with ETD/UVPD and Orbitrap Elite with ETD) for nano-scale LC-MS/MS-based quantitative analysis of protein abundance, post-translational modifications, and protein interactions. Waters TQ-S triple quadrupole MS for targeted proteomic applications.

2. Bruker instruments including a dual-source Tims-TOF FleX, a dual source SolariX 7T FT-ICR MS, a RapiFleX MALDI TissueTyper TOF, and an Autoflex MALDI-TOF MS for MALDI tissue imaging MS capabilities.

To initiate a project with the DDRCC Proteomics Core

For LC-MS/MS-based protomics: Please contact Lauren Ball for initial consultation. Further details about instrumentation, services and fees, facility descriptions to support grant writing and publication efforts, and details for acknowledging the Proteomics Core can be found on the Mass Spectrometry Facility webpage.

For MS-Imaging:Please contact Peggi Angel for initial consultation. A separate webpage for the Mass Spectrometry Imaging Research Center services and fees is currently under construction.

For all other queries about the DDRCC Proteomics Core, please contact:

Core Leader

Richard R. Drake, Ph.D.