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Abstract #2803

Tumor-specific expression and detection of a CEST reporter gene

Il Minn 1 , Amnon Bar-Shir 1,2 , Jeff W. M. Bulte 1,2 , Paul B. Fisher 3 , Assaf A. Gilad 1,2 , and Martin G. Pomper 1

1 The Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, United States, 2 Cellular Imaging Section, Institute for Cell Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, United States, 3 Massey Cancer Center, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, United States

We developed a molecular-genetic imaging approach to accomplish tumor-specific expression of a reporter gene based on chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) MRI. The lysine-rich protein (LRP), a CEST reporter, was expressed under the control of the PEG-Prom, which is tumor-specific, in 9L rat glioma cells (9L PEG-LRP ). 9L PEG-LRP cells transplanted to a mouse brain showed higher CEST contrast compared to those from wild type cells. Here we show the feasibility of using a CEST-reporter gene under a tumor-specific promoter. This is the first step toward a systemic delivery of a PEG-Prom:LRP vector, which allows visualization of malignant tissues with CEST MRI.

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