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MS imaging of multicellular tumor spheroids and organoids as an emerging tool for personalized medicine and drug discovery.
Journal of Biological Chemistry  (IF5.157),  Pub Date : 2021-08-28, DOI: 10.1016/j.jbc.2021.101139
Yijia Wang,Amanda B Hummon

MS imaging (MSI) is a powerful tool in drug discovery because of its ability to interrogate a wide range of endogenous and exogenous molecules in a broad variety of samples. The impressive versatility of the approach, where almost any ionizable biomolecule can be analyzed, including peptides, proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, and nucleic acids, has been applied to numerous types of complex biological samples. While originally demonstrated with harvested organs from animal models and biopsies from humans, these models are time consuming and expensive, which makes it necessary to extend the approach to 3D cell culture systems. These systems, which include spheroid models, prepared from immortalized cell lines, and organoid cultures, grown from patient biopsies, can provide insight on the intersection of molecular information on a spatial scale. In particular, the investigation of drug compounds, their metabolism, and the subsequent distribution of their metabolites in 3D cell culture systems by MSI has been a promising area of study. This review summarizes the different ionization methods, sample preparation steps, and data analysis methods of MSI and focuses on several of the latest applications of MALDI-MSI for drug studies in spheroids and organoids. Finally, the application of this approach in patient-derived organoids to evaluate personalized medicine options is discussed.