Imaging MS is emerging as a useful tool for proteomic analysis. We utilized this technique to analyze gene knockout (KO) mice in addition to traditional 2-DE analysis. The Scrapper-knockout (SCR-KO) mouse brain showed two types of neurodegenerative pathologies, the spongiform neurodegeneration and shrinkage of neuronal cells. 2-DE analysis of the whole brain lysates of SCR-KO mice indicated slight changes in annexin A6, Rap1 GTPase, and glyoxalase domain containing four spots while most of the main components did not show significant changes. By imaging MS analysis based on principal component analysis (PCA), we could find numerous alterations in the KO mouse brain. Furthermore, we could also know the information on the position of altered substances all together. PCA provides information about which molecules in tissue microdomains have altered and is helpful in analyzing large dataset of imaging MS, while exact identification of each molecule from peaks in MALDI imaging MS may require additional analyses such as MS/MS. Direct imaging with PCA is a powerful tool to perform in situ proteomics and will lead to novel findings. Our study shows that imaging MS yields information complementary to conventional 2-DE analysis.
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