Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers Find New Method For Mapping Gene Expression Using MRI

Date:
July 6, 2005
Source:
Weizmann Institute of Science
Summary:
New findings show an iron storage molecule in the cell can serve as an advanced tool for mapping gene expression. Future gene therapy may use a technique in which non-invasive magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is used to track this molecule. The results of this research, conducted by Prof. Michal Neeman of the Weizmann Institute's Biological Regulation Department, were published in the research journal Neoplasia.

New findings show an iron storage molecule in the cell can serve as an advanced tool for mapping gene expression. Future gene therapy may use a technique in which non-invasive magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is used to track this molecule. The results of this research, conducted by Prof. Michal Neeman of the Weizmann Institute's Biological Regulation Department, were published in the research journal Neoplasia.

Related Articles


Neeman, together with Dr. Batya Cohen of the Institute's Molecular Genetics Department, developed the capacity of the iron-bearing ferritin molecule to serve as a sort of gene "spy" by making genetic modifications to cells. This approach rendered ferritin sensitive to tetracycline (TET), a common antibiotic, so that when TET is present, the ferritin is "off" and when TET is absent, ferritin is "on." Tumor cells with modified ferritin were inserted into living mice and then tracked with MRI. The researchers hampered the expression of ferritin in the inserted cells through the administration of TET. When they stopped the TET, the "switch" turned on, triggering ferritin molecules to increase their numbers, thereby causing an increase in iron uptake within the tumor cells. The contrast between the iron content in these and in the normal surrounding cells showed up in the MRI (which is sensitive to magnetic particles such as iron), effectively identifying the genetically modified cells.

This method grew out of a joint vision that originated 10 years ago in collaboration with the late Dr. Yoav Citri. Ferritin's advantage is that it is visible in MRI without the need for an additional contrast material. This technique has far-reaching implications for monitoring the progress of gene therapy, such as that used to reactivate the body's production of insulin in the treatment of diabetes, because the genes can be "tagged" prior to injection. Therapeutic genes can then be tracked by MRI to ensure the target is reached and the desired activations occur. Prof. Neeman: "The use of ferritin as a reporter gene would be particularly beneficial in those cases where administration of contrast material is compromised by barriers, including embryonic development and the central nervous system."

###

Prof. Michal Neeman's research is supported by the M.D. Moross Institute for Cancer Research; the Willner Family Center for Vascular Biology; the Women's Health Research Center; the Mark Family Foundation; and Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Meadow, Beverly Hills, CA.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Weizmann Institute of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Weizmann Institute of Science. "Researchers Find New Method For Mapping Gene Expression Using MRI." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 July 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050706002324.htm>.
Weizmann Institute of Science. (2005, July 6). Researchers Find New Method For Mapping Gene Expression Using MRI. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050706002324.htm
Weizmann Institute of Science. "Researchers Find New Method For Mapping Gene Expression Using MRI." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050706002324.htm (accessed January 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are We Winning The Fight Against Ebola?

Are We Winning The Fight Against Ebola?

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) The World Health Organization announced the fight against Ebola has entered its second phase as the number of cases per week has steadily dropped. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Measles Scare Sends 66 Calif. Students Home

Measles Scare Sends 66 Calif. Students Home

AP (Jan. 29, 2015) Officials say 66 students at a Southern California high school have been told to stay home through the end of next week because they may have been exposed to measles and are not vaccinated. (Jan. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Group Encourages Black Moms to Breastfeed

Group Encourages Black Moms to Breastfeed

AP (Jan. 29, 2015) A grassroots effort is underway in several US cities to encourage more black women to breastfeed their babies by teaching them the benefits of the age-old practice, which is sometimes shunned in African-American communities. (Jan. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sugary Drinks May Cause Early Puberty In Girls, Study Says

Sugary Drinks May Cause Early Puberty In Girls, Study Says

Newsy (Jan. 28, 2015) Harvard researchers found that girls who consumed more than 1.5 sugary drinks a day had their first period earlier than those who drank less. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins