Microscale MALDI imaging of outer-layer lipids in intact egg chambers from drosophila melanogaster

Pawel L. Urban, Chia Hsien Chang, June Tai Wu, Yu-Chie Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) is a standard model organism used in genetics and molecular biology. Phospholipids are building blocks of cellular membranes, and components of a complex signaling network. Here, we present a facile method, based on matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) mass spectrometry (MS), for molecular imaging of phospholipid distributions in submillimeter-sized components of the fruit fly reproductive system. Individual egg chambers were deposited on a specially prepared MALDI target comprising an aluminum slide with a rough surface created by ablation with a microsecond-laser: this helped to immobilize biological specimens, remove excess of saline solution by adhesive forces, carry out microscopic observations, and facilitated distribution of the MALDI matrix. A continuous-flow ultrasound-assisted spray was used for the deposition of MALDI matrix (9-aminoacridine) onto the sample. The upper surface of the specimen was then scanned with a 355-nm solid-state laser with a preset beam focus of 10 μm to obtain negative-ion mode MALDI-MS images. Overall, this provided sufficient spatial resolution to reveal micrometer-scale gradient-like patterns of phospholipids along the anterior/posterior axis of egg chambers. Several phosphatidylinositols are seen to be segregated according to the number of unsaturated bonds, with an elevated abundance of polyunsaturated phosphatidylinositols within the oocyte compartment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3918-3925
Number of pages8
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number10
StatePublished - 15 May 2011

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