Artificial reporter gene providing MRI contrast based on proton exchange

Nat Biotechnol. 2007 Feb;25(2):217-9. doi: 10.1038/nbt1277. Epub 2007 Jan 28.


Existing magnetic resonance reporter genes all rely on the presence of (super)paramagnetic substances and employ water relaxation to gain contrast. We designed a nonmetallic, biodegradable, lysine rich-protein (LRP) reporter, the prototype of a potential family of genetically engineered reporters expressing artificial proteins with frequency-selective contrast. This endogenous contrast, based on transfer of radiofrequency labeling from the reporter's amide protons to water protons, can be switched on and off.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Contrast Media*
  • Genes, Reporter*
  • Glioma / pathology*
  • Image Enhancement / methods*
  • Lysine* / genetics
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Mice
  • Protons
  • Recombinant Proteins


  • Contrast Media
  • Protons
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Lysine