Unraveling mitotic protein networks by 3D multiplexed epitope drug screening.
IF: 13.068
Cited by: 1


Three-dimensional protein localization intricately determines the functional coordination of cellular processes. The complex spatial context of protein landscape has been assessed by multiplexed immunofluorescent staining or mass spectrometry, applied to 2D cell culture with limited physiological relevance or tissue sections. Here, we present 3D SPECS, an automated technology for 3D Spatial characterization of Protein Expression Changes by microscopic Screening. This workflow comprises iterative antibody staining, high-content 3D imaging, and machine learning for detection of mitoses. This is followed by mapping of spatial protein localization into a spherical, cellular coordinate system, a basis for model-based prediction of spatially resolved affinities of proteins. As a proof-of-concept, we mapped twelve epitopes in 3D-cultured spheroids and investigated the network effects of twelve mitotic cancer drugs. Our approach reveals novel insights into spindle fragility and chromatin stress, and predicts unknown interactions between proteins in specific mitotic pathways. 3D SPECS's ability to map potential drug targets by multiplexed immunofluorescence in 3D cell culture combined with our automated high-content assay will inspire future functional protein expression and drug assays.


Spatial Gene Expression
cell profiling
mitosis modeling
multiplexed immunostaining
protein–protein interactions

MeSH terms

Cell Line, Tumor
Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
Drug Screening Assays, Antitumor
Gene Expression Regulation
High-Throughput Screening Assays


Maier, Lorenz J
Kallenberger, Stefan M
Jechow, Katharina
Waschow, Marcel
Eils, Roland
Conrad, Christian

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