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Tyrosinase as a multifunctional reporter gene for Photoacoustic/MRI/PET triple modality molecular imaging.

Chunxia Qin, Kai Cheng, Kai Chen, Xiang Hu, Yang Liu, Xiaoli Lan, Yongxue Zhang, Hongguang Liu, Yingding Xu, Lihong Bu, Xinhui Su, Xiaohua Zhu, Shuxian Meng, Zhen Cheng
Scientific reports2013
Development of reporter genes for multimodality molecular imaging is highly important. In contrast to the conventional strategies which have focused on fusing several reporter genes together to serve as multimodal reporters, human tyrosinase (TYR)--the key enzyme in melanin production--was evaluated in this study as a stand-alone reporter gene for in vitro and in vivo photoacoustic imaging (PAI), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET). Human breast cancer cells MCF-7 transfected with a plasmid that encodes TYR (named as MCF-7-TYR) and non-transfected MCF-7 cells were used as positive and negative controls, respectively. Melanin targeted N-(2-(diethylamino)ethyl)-18F-5-fluoropicolinamide was used as a PET reporter probe. In vivo PAI/MRI/PET imaging studies showed that MCF-7-TYR tumors achieved significant higher signals and tumor-to-background contrasts than those of MCF-7 tumor. Our study demonstrates that TYR gene can be utilized as a multifunctional reporter gene for PAI/MRI/PET both in vitro and in vivo.
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