MRI Visualization of Melanoma Cells by Targeting Overexpressed Sialic Acid with a GdIII-dota-en-pba Imaging Reporter


  • This research was performed in the framework of the EU COST Action TD1004, “Theranostics Imaging and Therapy: an Action to Develop Novel Nanosized Systems for Imaging-Guided Drug Delivery”, and supported by Regione Piemonte (PIIMDMT and nano-IGT projects), MIUR (PRIN 2009235JB7). The authors are grateful to Dr. Joop A. Peters for valuable scientific discussions. dota=1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane 1,4,7,10-tetraacetate, en=ethylenediamine, pba=phenylboronic acid.


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By design: The novel MRI reporter GdIII-dota-en-pba (see picture) selectively binds to sialic acid residues, which are overexpressed on tumors. This imaging reporter accumulates in a murine melanoma B16-F10 mice xenograft and from the MRI signal intensity it is possible to quantify the sialic acid concentration that is directly associated with tumor malignancy.