MRI reporter genes

Assaf A. Gilad, Keren Ziv, Michael T. McMahon, Peter C.M. Van Zijl, Michal Neeman, Jeff W.M. Bulte

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Noninvasive molecular imaging of dynamic processes has benefited tremendously from the use of reporter genes. These genes encode for proteins that emit light, bind radiolabeled probes, or, as covered in this review, modulate MRI contrast. Reporter genes play a pivotal role in monitoring cell trafficking, gene replacement therapy, protein-protein interactions, neuronal plasticity, and embryonic development. Several strategies exist for generating MRI contrast: using enzyme-catalyzed chemical modification of metal-based contrast agents or (phosphorus) metabolites, iron-binding and iron-storage proteins to accumulate iron as a contrast agent, and artificial proteins for imaging based on chemical exchange saturation transfer. MRI reporter genes have the advantage that the specific signal can be coregistered with soft-tissue anatomy and functional tissue information and have, therefore, become an active and growing area of scientific interest.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1905-1908
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2008


  • Ferritin
  • MR imaging
  • MRI spectroscopy
  • Molecular imaging
  • Reporter gene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'MRI reporter genes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this