Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 410, Issue 3, pp 913–922 | Cite as

Multimodal laser ablation/desorption imaging analysis of Zn and MMP-11 in breast tissues

  • Raquel González de Vega
  • María Luisa Fernández SanchezEmail author
  • Noemí Eiro
  • Francisco J. Vizoso
  • Michael Sperling
  • Uwe Karst
  • Alfredo Sanz MedelEmail author
Research Paper
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. ABCs 16th Anniversary


Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are a family of zinc-dependent endopeptidases. The main functions of these metalloproteinases are the degradation of the stromal connective tissue and basement membrane components. Recent data from model systems suggest that MMPs are involved in breast cancer (BC) initiation, invasion, and metastasis. Particularly, MMP-11 (stromelysin-3) is expressed in stromal fibroblasts adjacent to epithelial tumor cells, and high levels of this metalloproteinase were associated with tumor progression and poor prognosis of BC. Consequently, MMP-11 involved in these processes can be a candidate as a new potential prognostic biomarker in BC. Bioimaging techniques based on laser ablation/desorption and mass spectrometry are rapidly growing in biology and medicine for studies of biological systems to provide information of biomolecules (such as proteins, metabolites, and lipids) and metals with lateral resolution at the micrometer scale. In this study, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry imaging (MALDI-MSI) has been used for the first time to investigate the distribution of MMP-11 in human breast cancer tissues in order to show a possible correlation between cancerous and healthy samples, by differential proteomics and using such differences for possible cancer diagnosis and/or prognosis. Additionally, those human breast tissue samples were analyzed in parallel by laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) in order to gather additional information about the elemental distribution of Zn and its possible associations with MMPs.


Laser ablation Mass spectrometry/ICP-MS Biological samples 



This work was supported by projects FC-15-GRUPIN14-092 (Principado de Asturias) and MINECO-13-CTQ2013-49032-C2-1-R (Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia). Parts of this study were supported by the Cells in Motion Cluster of Excellence (CiM-EXC 1003), Münster, Germany (project FF-2013-17).

Compliance with ethical standards

The study was performed with approval of the Ethics Committee of Regional Clinical Research of the Principado de Asturias in accordance with the ethical standards. Written informed consents were obtained from all patients according to the institutional regulations of the Biobank of Principado de Asturias.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raquel González de Vega
    • 1
  • María Luisa Fernández Sanchez
    • 1
    Email author
  • Noemí Eiro
    • 2
  • Francisco J. Vizoso
    • 2
  • Michael Sperling
    • 3
  • Uwe Karst
    • 3
  • Alfredo Sanz Medel
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Physical and Analytical Chemistry, Faculty of ChemistryUniversity of OviedoOviedoSpain
  2. 2.Research UnitHospital de Jove FoundationGijónSpain
  3. 3.Institute of Inorganic and Analytical ChemistryUniversity of MünsterMünsterGermany

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