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The healthy prostate contains the highest concentration of mobile zinc for all soft tissues in the body. As this level decreases dramatically during the initial development of prostate cancer, in vivo detection of prostate zinc content may be applied for diagnosis of prostate cancer. Using 19F ion chemical exchange saturation transfer magnetic resonance imaging (iCEST MRI) and TF-BAPTA as a fluorinated Zn-binding probe with micromolar sensitivity, we show here that iCEST MRI is able to differentiate between normal and malignant prostate cells with a 10-fold difference in contrast following glucose-stimulated zinc secretion in vitro. The iCEST signal decreased in normal prostate cells upon downregulation of the ZIP1 zinc transporter. In vivo, using an orthotopic prostate cancer mouse model and a transgenic adenocarcinoma of the mouse prostate (TRAMP) model, a gradual decrease of >300% in iCEST contrast following the transition of normal prostate epithelial cells to cancer cells was detected. Hence, the use of iCEST MRI for serial probing of in vivo zinc content may find applications as an imaging biomarker for detection of prostate cancer.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Angewandte Chemie (International ed. in English)
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