Multi-omics Mass Spectrometry Core

The Multi-omics Mass Spectrometry Core (MMSC) at USC School of Pharmacy serves the scientific research community at USC as well as external collaborators. Our Core is equipped with state-of-the-art instruments for imaging mass spectrometry (IMS), high-throughput screening, and quantitative metabolomic and proteomics. Our Core is dedicated to actively collaborate with internal and external research groups in providing comprehensive service in MALDI imaging and high-throughput screening of small molecules, peptides, and proteins using mass spectrometry.

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Our consultations and services are detailed as follows:

Mass spectrometry imaging:

  • Regular tissue freezing with liquid nitrogen conserving tissue shape and integrity
  • Cryosectioning of frozen and FFPE tissues
  • Sample preparation for MALDI imaging including regular washing, desalting, and lipid/protein/dye removal.
  • MALDI matrix purification and solution preparation
  • Robotic matrix deposition on tissue sections using HTX M5 sprayer
  • MALDI imaging of various tissue types at high spatial resolution (20 um) and super high speed (40 pixels per second).
  • On-tissue trypsin digestion for protein identification and proteomics studies
  • MALDI MS/MS for compound/protein identification
  • Targeted small molecule/drug imaging and identification
  • Comprehensive data analysis such as heat map visualization, pathology-guided IMS, and statistical analysis

Mass spectrometry-based high-throughput screening:

  • Preparation of enzymatic reaction such as enzyme/substrate stock handling and preparation, enzyme/small molecule dispensing and incubation, reaction quenching and aliquoting.
  • Generating dose-response source plates with serial dilutions up to 16 different concentrations
  • Rigorous data analysis including IC50 calculations, single point and DR curve plotting
  • Z’ calculations for plate-to-plate variations
  • Hit identification

Proteomics and quantitative mass spectrometry:

  • Tryptic and peptic digestion of proteins, both in solution on-gel digestion
  • LC/MS of intact proteins
  • LC/MS/MS for protein identification and post-translational modification (PTM) analysis
  • Site-specific modifications of proteins such as lysine acetylation and methylation.
  • MRM and PRM assays for metabolite, drug, and protein quantitation in biological samples such as plasma and cell culture.

To request our services, please complete our service request form.

  • Bruker Rapiflex MALDI Tissuetyper
  • HTX M5 Matrix sprayer – HTX imaging
  • Thermo Fisher Q-Exactive Orbitrap equipped with a nano-LC system (LC/MS/MS)
  • Sciex QTRAP 6500+ equipped with Agilent 1290 Infinity II HPLC
  • Sciex QTRAP 5500 equipped with Agilent 1290 Infinity II HPLC