Recording intracellular molecular events from the outside: glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored avidin as a reporter protein for in vivo imaging.
SourceThe Journal of Nuclear Medicine (1978), 52, 3, (2011), pp. 445-452
1 maart 2011
Article / Letter to editor
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Cell Biology (UMC)
The Journal of Nuclear Medicine (1978)
SubjectNCMLS 5: Membrane transport and intracellular motility ONCOL 3: Translational research
With the emergence of multimodal imaging strategies, genetically encoded reporters that can be flexibly combined with any imaging modality become highly attractive. Here we describe the use of glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored avidin, an avidin moiety targeted to the extracellular side of cell membranes via a GPI anchor, as a reporter for in vivo imaging. Being present on the outside of cells, avidin can be visualized with any type of biotinylated imaging agent, without the requirement that the probe be membrane-permeable. We used the avidin-GPI system to monitor the activity of hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs)-oxygen-sensing transcription factors, which play a major role in regulating cancer progression-in a mouse tumor allograft model. METHODS: Mouse C51 cells were stably transfected with pH3SVG, a reporter construct driving the expression of avidin-GPI from an HIF-sensitive promoter. The transfected cells were subcutaneously implanted into BALB/c nude mice. At 10 d after tumor inoculation, mice received an intravenous injection of either alexa-594-biocytin or (67)Ga-DOTA-biotin, and tumor HIF activity was imaged using fluorescence reflectance imaging or SPECT. RESULTS: In vitro cell experiments demonstrated the functionality and HIF-dependent regulation of the avidin-GPI reporter construct. In vivo, avidin-GPI was targeted specifically in allograft tumors with biotinylated imaging probes using both fluorescence imaging and SPECT. Analysis of the reporter expression pattern on ex vivo tumor tissue sections indicated a good overlap, with areas of hypoxia. CONCLUSION: We have demonstrated the utility of avidin-GPI as a reporter for multimodal in vivo imaging using both a fluorescence and a SPECT approach to assess intracellular oxygen signaling in a mouse tumor model.
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