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Imaging Glycosylation In Vivo by Metabolic Labeling and Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

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Wainman, Yéléna A 
Wright, Alan 
Kettunen, Mikko I 
Rodrigues, Tiago B 


Glycosylation is a ubiquitous post-translational modification, present in over 50% of the proteins in the human genome, with important roles in cell-cell communication and migration. Interest in glycome profiling has increased with the realization that glycans can be used as biomarkers of many diseases, including cancer. We report here the first tomographic imaging of glycosylated tissues in live mice by using metabolic labeling and a gadolinium-based bioorthogonal MRI probe. Significant N-azidoacetylgalactosamine dependent T1  contrast was observed in vivo two hours after probe administration. Tumor, kidney, and liver showed significant contrast, and several other tissues, including the pancreas, spleen, heart, and intestines, showed a very high contrast (>10-fold). This approach has the potential to enable the rapid and non-invasive magnetic resonance imaging of glycosylated tissues in vivo in preclinical models of disease.



bioorthogonal chemistry, cancer, gadolinium, glycans, magnetic resonance imaging, Animals, Carbohydrates, Gadolinium, Glycosylation, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Mice, Molecular Probes, Tissue Distribution

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Angew Chem Int Ed Engl

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Cancer Research UK (C14303/A17197)
Cancer Research UK (CB4100)
Cancer Research Uk (None)
The work was supported by a Cancer Research UK Programme grant (17242) to KMB and the CRUK-EPSRC Imaging Centre in Cambridge and Manchester (16465). Y.A.W. and F.B. were in receipt of Cancer Research UK Ph.D. studentships.