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Am J Transl Res. 2013 Apr 19;5(3):291-302. Print 2013.

HaloTag as a reporter gene: positron emission tomography imaging with (64)Cu-labeled second generation HaloTag ligands.

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1
Department of Radiology, University of Wisconsin - Madison Madison, WI, USA.

Abstract

THE GOAL OF THIS STUDY IS TO EMPLOY THE HALOTAG TECHNOLOGY FOR POSITRON EMISSION TOMOGRAPHY (PET), WHICH INVOLVES TWO COMPONENTS: the HaloTag protein (a modified hydrolase which covalently binds to synthetic ligands) and HaloTag ligands (HTLs). 4T1 murine breast cancer cells were stably transfected to express HaloTag protein on the surface (termed as 4T1-HaloTag-ECS, ECS denotes extracellular surface). Two new HTLs were synthesized and termed NOTA-HTL2G-S and NOTA-HTL2G-L (2G indicates second generation, S stands for short, L stands for long, NOTA denotes 1,4,7-triazacyclononane-N,N'N''-triacetic acid). Microscopy studies confirmed surface expression of HaloTag in 4T1-HaloTag-ECS cells, which specifically bind NOTA-HTL2G-S/L. Uptake of (64)Cu-NOTA-HTL2G-L in 4T1-HaloTag-ECS tumors (4.3 ± 0.5, 4.1± 0.2, 4.0 ± 0.2, 2.3 ± 0.1, and 2.2 ± 0.1 %ID/g at 0.5, 3, 6, 18, and 24 h post-injection respectively; n = 4) was significantly higher than that in the 4T1 tumors (3.0 ± 0.3, 3.0± 0.1, 3.0 ± 0.2, 2.0 ± 0.4, and 2.4 ± 0.3 %ID/g at 0.5, 3, 6, 18, and 24 h post-injection respectively; n = 4) at early time points. In comparison, (64)Cu-NOTA-HTL2G-S did not demonstrate significant uptake in either 4T1-HaloTag-ECS or 4T1 tumors. Blocking studies and autoradiography of tumor lysates confirmed that (64)Cu-NOTA-HTL2G-L binds specifically to HaloTag protein in the 4T1-HaloTag-ECS tumors, corroborated by histology. HaloTag protein-specific targeting and PET imaging in vivo with (64)Cu-NOTA-HTL2G-L serves as a proof-of-principle for future non-invasive and sensitive tracking of HaloTag-transfected cells with PET, as well as many other studies of gene/protein/cell function in vivo.

KEYWORDS:

64Cu; HaloTag; cancer; molecular imaging; positron emission tomography (PET); reporter gene

PMID:
23634240
PMCID:
PMC3633972
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