Bioluminescence imaging (BLI) detects light generated by luciferase-mediated oxidation of substrate and is used widely for evaluating transgene expression in cell-based assays and in vivo in relevant preclinical models. The most commonly used luciferase for in vivo applications is firefly luciferase (fLuc), for which D-luciferin serves as the substrate. We demonstrated previously that the expression of the ABCG2 efflux transporter can significantly reduce BLI signal output and that HhAntag-691 can inhibit the efflux of Dluciferin, thereby enhancing BLI signal. Here we show that an HhAntag-691-sensitive uptake mechanism facilitates the intracellular concentration of D-luciferin and that the BLI dynamics of different cell lines are coregulated by this uptake mechanism in conjunction with ABCG2-mediated efflux. After administration of D-luciferin, the HhAntag-691-sensitive uptake mechanism generates a rapid increase in BLI signal that decreases over time, whereas ABCG2-mediated efflux stably reduces signal output. We implicate SLC22A4 (OCTN1), a member of the organic cation/zwitterion uptake transporter family, as one potential mediator of the HhAntag-691-sensitive D-luciferin uptake. These findings provide insight into mechanisms that contribute to the cellular uptake kinetics and in vivo biodistribution of D-luciferin.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Medicine
- Biomedical Engineering
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Condensed Matter Physics