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17 February 2011 Photoacoustic imaging of gene expression using tyrosinase as a reporter gene
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Optical reporter genes, such as green fluorescence protein, are powerful research tools that allow visualization of gene expression. We have successfully used tyrosinase as a reporter gene for photoacoustic imaging. Tyrosinase is the key regulatory enzyme in the production of melanin which has a broad optical absorption spectrum. MCF-7 cells were stably transfected with tyrosinase under the control of an inducible promoter. For photoacoustic experiments, MCF-7 cells were resuspended at 108 cells/mL and injected in 700 μm (inner diameter) plastic tubing. Photoacoustic signal of MCF-7 cells expressing tyrosinase were >20-fold greater than those of untransfected MCF-7 cells. Photoacoustic signal of tyrosinaseexpressing MCF-7 cells were approximately 2-fold lesser and greater than those of blood at 576 and 650 nm, respectively, suggesting that photoacoustic signal from blood and tyrosinase-expressing cells can be separated by dualwavelength analysis. Photoacoustic signal from tyrosinase-expressing MCF-7 cells covered by chicken tissue could even be detected at a laser penetration depth of 4 cm, suggesting that tyrosinase can be used to image gene expression in relatively deep tissues. The current data suggests that tyrosinase is a strong reporter gene for photoacoustic imaging.
© (2011) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Robert J. Paproski, Alexander Forbrich, Tyler Harrison, Mary Hitt, and Roger J. Zemp "Photoacoustic imaging of gene expression using tyrosinase as a reporter gene", Proc. SPIE 7899, Photons Plus Ultrasound: Imaging and Sensing 2011, 78991H (17 February 2011);

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