Magnetic resonance imaging provides important intravital information on deep tissues that cannot be visualized by other methods. Although we had previously developed an off/on switching 19F MRI probe to monitor reporter enzyme activity on the basis of the paramagnetic relaxation enhancement effect, it was difficult to monitor biological events in living cells because the 19F MRI probe did not permeate living cell membrane. In this study, we have developed a new 19F MRI system for monitoring gene expression in living cells by exploiting cell-surface-displayed β-lactamase and the specifically designed 19F MRI probe. By using this system, cellular gene expression was successfully detected by 19F MRI without cell fixation. This imaging strategy shows promise for monitoring in vivo gene expression, and therefore it could lead to useful technologies for the diagnosis and therapy of various diseases.
- F MRI
- Gene expression
- Membrane proteins
- Paramagnetic resonance enhancement
- Self-elimination properties