MALDI-MS-imaging of whole human lens capsule

Maurizio Ronci, Shiwani Sharma, Tim Chataway, Kathryn P. Burdon, Sarah Martin, Jamie E. Craig, Nicolas H. Voelcker

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28 Citations (Scopus)


The ocular lens capsule is a smooth, transparent basement membrane that encapsulates the lens and is composed of a rigid network of interacting structural proteins and glycosaminoglycans. During cataract surgery, the anterior lens capsule is routinely removed in the form of a circular disk. We considered that the excised capsule could be easily prepared for matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry imaging (MALDI-MSI) analysis. MALDI-MSI is a powerful tool to elucidate the spatial distribution of small molecules, peptides, and proteins within tissues. Here, we apply this molecular imaging technique to analyze the freshly excised human lens capsule en face. We demonstrate that novel information about the distribution of proteins by MALDI-MSI can be obtained from this highly compact connective tissue, having no evident histo-morphological characteristics. Trypsin digestion carried out on-tissue is shown to improve MALDI-MSI analysis of human lens capsules and affords high repeatability. Most importantly, MALDI-MSI analysis reveals a concentric distribution pattern of proteins such as apolipoprotein E (ApoE) and collagen IV alpha-1 on the anterior surface of surgically removed lens capsule, which may indicate direct or indirect effects of environmental and mechanical stresses on the human ocular lens. 

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3522-3529
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Proteome Research
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 5 Aug 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • apolipoprotein E
  • collagen IV alpha-1
  • human lens capsule
  • proteomics
  • trypsin digestion

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