Imaging Mass Spectrometry and Microbial Pathogenesis: The Effect of Calprotectin on Pathogen-Host Interactions
Moore, Jessica Lindsey
Disease is characterized by signature molecular changes in affected tissues and organs. Diseases cause disruption and dysregulation of a number of biological molecules, including proteins, lipids, metal, and small molecules. Understanding the spatial distribution of biomolecules as it relates to human disease is incredibly important; it represents a way to study disease-associated changes in tissues. This work utilizes Imaging Mass Spectrometry (IMS), a discovery-based analytical approach that enables the detection of biological molecules spatially within diseased tissues, to study infectious diseases. IMS discovered molecular changes specific to areas in the tissue where pathogens interact with their vertebrate hosts. This region, deemed the pathogen-host interface, presents a wealth of information about how vertebrate hosts defend themselves from invading pathogens, including the accumulation and oxidative damage of the metal-chelating host protein calprotectin. In response to metal-starvation, bacteria also exhibit characteristic changes that are observable by mass spectrometry. Further study of these interactions is paramount to the understanding of microbial pathogenesis and to the continued treatment of infectious diseases.