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Inorg Chem. 2013 Nov 4;52(21):12216-22. doi: 10.1021/ic400404g. Epub 2013 May 6.

Imaging DNA with fluorochrome bearing metals.

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  • 1Center for Translational Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, ‡Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Department of Radiology, and §Cardiovascular Research Center, Cardiology Division, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School , Boston, Massachusetts 02114, United States.


Molecules that fluoresce upon binding DNA are widely used in assaying and visualizing DNA in cells and tissues. However, using light to visualize DNA in animals is limited by the attenuation of light transmission by biological tissues. Moreover, it is now clear that DNA is an important mediator of dead cell clearance, coagulation reactions, and an immunogen in autoimmune lupus. Attaching metals (e.g., superparamagnetic nanoparticles, gadolinium ions, radioactive metal ions) to DNA-binding fluorochromes provides a way of imaging DNA in whole animals, and potentially humans, without light. Imaging metal-bearing, DNA-binding fluorochromes and their target DNA by magnetic resonance imaging may shed light on the many key roles of DNA in health and disease beyond the storage of genetic information.

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