Ferritin reporter used for gene expression imaging by magnetic resonance

Kenji Ono, Kazuya Fuma, Kaori Tabata, Makoto Sawada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a minimally invasive way to provide high spatial resolution tomograms. However, MRI has been considered to be useless for gene expression imaging compared to optical imaging. In this study, we used a ferritin reporter, binding with biogenic iron, to make it a powerful tool for gene expression imaging in MRI studies. GL261 mouse glioma cells were over-expressed with dual-reporter ferritin-DsRed under β-actin promoter, then gene expression was observed by optical imaging and MRI in a brain tumor model. GL261 cells expressing ferritin-DsRed fusion protein showed enhanced visualizing effect by reducing T2-weighted signal intensity for in vitro and in vivo MRI studies, as well as DsRed fluorescence for optical imaging. Furthermore, a higher contrast was achieved on T2-weighted images when permeating the plasma membrane of ferritin-DsRed-expressing GL261. Thus, a ferritin expression vector can be used as an MRI reporter to monitor in vivo gene expression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)589-594
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Oct 23 2009
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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