Vis Cancer Med
Volume 2, 2021
|Number of page(s)||9|
|Published online||03 March 2021|
Spatially-resolved proteomics and transcriptomics: An emerging digital spatial profiling approach for tumor microenvironment
Mills Institute for Personalized Cancer Care, Fynn Biotechnologies Ltd., Gangxing 3rd Rd, High-Tech and Innovation Zone, Bldg. 2, Rm. 2201, Jinan City, Shandong Province
250101, PR China
2 NanoString Technologies, Inc., Seattle, WA, USA
* Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 4 December 2020
Digital spatial profiling (DSP) is an emerging powerful technology for proteomics and transcriptomics analyses in a spatially resolved manner for formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) samples developed by nanoString Technologies. DSP applies several advanced technologies, including high-throughput readout technologies (digital optical barcodes by nCounter instruments or next generation sequencing (NGS)), programmable digital micromirror device (DMD) technology, and microfluidic sampling technologies into traditional immunohistochemistry (IHC) and RNA in situ hybridization (ISH) approaches, creating an innovative tool for discovery, translational research, and clinical uses. Since its launch in 2019, DSP has been rapidly adopted, especially in immuno-oncology and tumor microenvironment research areas, and has revealed valuable information that was inaccessible before. In this article, we report the successful setup and validation of the first DSP technology platform in China. Both DSP spatial protein and RNA profiling approaches were validated using FFPE colorectal cancer tissues. Regions of interest (ROIs) were selected in the areas enriched with tumor cells, stroma/immune cells, or normal epithelial cells, and multiplex spatial profiling of both proteins and RNAs were performed. DSP spatial profiling data were processed and normalized accordingly, validating the high quality and consistency of the data. Unsupervised hierarchical clustering as well as principal component analysis (PCA) grouped tumor, stroma/immune cells, and normal epithelial cells into distinct clusters, indicating that the DSP approach effectively captured the spatially resolved proteomics and transcriptomics profiles of different compartments within the tumor microenvironment. In summary, the results confirmed the expected sensitivity and robustness of the DSP approach in profiling both proteins and RNAs in a spatially resolved manner. As a novel technology in highly complex spatial analyses, DSP endows refined analytical power from the tumor microenvironment perspective with the potential of scaling up to more analyzable targets at relatively low cell input levels. We expect that the DSP technology will greatly advance a wide range of biomedical research, especially in immuno-oncology and tumor microenvironment research areas.
Key words: Digital spatial profiling / Spatially resolved / Proteomics / Transcriptomics / Tumor microenvironment
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2021
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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