Native LESA TWIMS-MSI: Spatial, Conformational, and Mass Analysis of Proteins and Protein Complexes


University of Birmingham



We have previously demonstrated native liquid extraction surface analysis (LESA) mass spectrometry imaging of small intact proteins in thin tissue sections. We also showed calculation of collision cross sections for specific proteins extracted from discrete locations in tissue by LESA traveling wave ion mobility spectrometry (TWIMS). Here, we demonstrate an integrated native LESA TWIMS mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) workflow, in which ion mobility separation is central to the imaging experiment and which provides spatial, conformational, and mass information on endogenous proteins in a single experiment. The approach was applied to MSI of a thin tissue section of mouse kidney. The results show that the benefits of integration of TWIMS include improved specificity of the ion images and the capacity to calculate collision cross sections for any protein or protein complex detected in any pixel (without a priori knowledge of the presence of the protein).