Genetically Engineered “Multicolour” MRI Reporters for In Vivo Imaging of Transgenes Expression
Hyla Allouche-Arnon1, Olga Khersonsky2, Nishanth Deva Tirukoti1, Liat Avram3, Talia Harris3, Nirbhay N. Yadav4,5, Sarel J. Fleishman2, and Amnon Bar-Shir1
1Department of Molecular Chemistry and Materials Science, Weizmann institute of science, Rehovot, Israel, 2Department of Biomolecular Sciences, Weizmann institute of science, Rehovot, Israel, 3Department of Chemical Research Support, Weizmann institute of science, Rehovot, Israel, 4Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, United States, 5F.M. Kirby Research Center for Functional Brain Imaging, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore, MD, United States
Genetically engineered multicolor fluorescent proteins have changed biomedical research by enabling multiplexed mapping of transgenes expression. However, although MRI reporter genes have been developed, the ability to monitor multiple reporters that are expressed simultaneously and present them in a multicolor fashion is still needed. Here, we present an MRI-based system, comprising computationally designed reporters (enzymes) combined with MRI-detectable synthetic probes (substrates) for non-invasive color-encoded MRI mapping of transgene expression. Systemically administered reporter probes exclusively accumulate in cells expressing the designed reporter genes allowing their spatial display as pseudo-colored CEST MRI maps as demonstrated in both tumor model and viral-delivery system.
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