Detection of Alkaline Phosphatase Enzyme Activity with a CatalyCEST MRI Biosensor.
ABSTRACT: Responsive CEST MRI biosensors offer good sensitivity and excellent specificity for detection of biomarkers with great potential for clinical translation. We report the application of fosfosal, a phosphorylated form of salicylic acid, for the detection of alkaline phosphatase (AP) enzyme. We detected conversion of fosfosal to salicylic acid in the presence of the enzyme by CEST MRI. Importantly the technique was able to detect AP enzyme expressed in cells in the presence of other cell components, which improves specificity. Various isoforms of the enzyme showed different Michaelis-Menten kinetics and yet these kinetics studies indicated very efficient catalytic rates. Our results with the fosfosal biosensor encourage further in vivo studies.
Project description:Imaging agents for the noninvasive in vivo detection of enzyme activity in preclinical and clinical settings could have fundamental implications in the field of drug discovery. Furthermore, a new class of targeted prodrug treatments takes advantage of high enzyme activity to tailor therapy and improve treatment outcomes. Herein, we report the design and synthesis of new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) agents that quantitatively detect ?-galactosidase and ?-glucuronidase activities by measuring changes in chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST). Based on a modular approach, we incorporated the enzymes' respective substrates to a salicylate moiety with a chromogenic spacer via a carbamate linkage. This furnished highly selective diamagnetic CEST agents that detected and quantified enzyme activities of glycoside hydrolase enzymes. Michaelis-Menten enzyme kinetics studies were performed by monitoring catalyCEST MRI signals, which were validated with UV-vis assays.
Project description:Urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) promotes tumor invasion and metastasis. The monitoring of uPA activity using molecular imaging may have prognostic value and be predictive for response to anti-cancer therapies. However, the detection of in vivo enzyme activity with molecular imaging remains a challenge. To address this problem, we designed a nonmetallic contrast agent, GR-4Am-SA, that can be detected with chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) MRI. This agent has a peptide that is cleaved by uPA, which causes a CEST signal at 5.0 ppm to decrease, and also has a salicylic acid moiety that can produce a CEST signal at 9.5 ppm, which is largely unresponsive to enzyme activity. The two CEST signals were used to determine a reaction coordinate, representing the extent of enzyme-catalyzed cleavage of the GR-4Am-SA agent during an experimental study. Initial biochemical studies showed that GR-4Am-SA could detect uPA activity in reducing conditions. Subsequently, we used our catalyCEST MRI protocol with the agent to detect the uPA catalysis of GR-4Am-SA in a flank xenograft model of Capan-2 pancreatic cancer. The results showed an average reaction coordinate of 80% ± 8%, which was strongly dependent on the CEST signal at 5.0 ppm. The relative independence of the reaction coordinate on the CEST signal at 9.5 ppm showed that the detection of enzyme activity was largely independent of the concentration of GR-4Am-SA within the tumor tissue. These results demonstrated the advantages of a single CEST agent with biomarker-responsive and unresponsive signals for reliably assessing enzyme activity during in vivo cancer studies.
Project description:A chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) MRI contrast agent has been developed that detects sulfatase enzyme activity. The agent produces a CEST signal at ?=5.0?ppm before enzyme activity, and a second CEST signal appears at ?=9.0?ppm after the enzyme cleaves a sulfate group from the agent. The comparison of the two signals improved detection of sulfatase activity.
Project description:CatalyCEST MRI can detect enzyme activity by employing contrast agents that are detected through chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST). A CEST agent, Tm-DO3A-cadaverine, has been designed to detect the catalytic activity of transglutaminase (TGase), which creates a covalent bond between the agent and the side chain of a glutamine amino acid residue. CEST appeared at -9.2 ppm after TGase conjugated Tm-DO3A-cadaverine to albumin, which also caused a decrease in CEST from albumin at +4.6 ppm. Studies with model peptides revealed similar appearances and decreases in detectable CEST effects following TGase-catalyzed conjugation of the contrast agent and peptide. The MR frequencies and amplitudes of these CEST effects were dependent on the peptide sequence, which demonstrated the sensitivity of CEST agents to ligand conformations that may be exploited to create more responsive molecular imaging agents. The chemical exchange rates of the substrates and conjugated products were measured by fitting modified Bloch equations to CEST spectra, which demonstrated that changes in exchange rates can also be used to detect the formation of a covalent bond by catalyCEST MRI.
Project description:PURPOSE:The detection of enzyme activities and evaluation of enzyme inhibitors have been challenging with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). To address this need, we have developed a diamagnetic, nonmetallic contrast agent and a protocol known as catalyCEST MRI that uses chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) to detect enzyme activity as well as enzyme inhibition. PROCEDURES:We synthesized a diamagnetic MRI contrast agent that has enzyme responsive and enzyme unresponsive CEST signals. We tested the ability of this agent to detect the activity of kallikrein 6 (KLK6) in biochemical solutions, in vitro and in vivo, with and without a KLK6 inhibitor. RESULTS:The agent detected KLK6 activity in solution and also detected KLK6 inhibition by antithrombin III. KLK6 activity was detected during in vitro studies with HCT116 colon cancer cells, relative to the detection of almost no activity in a KLK6-knockdown HCT116 cell line and HCT116 cells treated with antithrombin III inhibitor. Finally, strong enzyme activity was detected within an in vivo HCT116 tumor model, while lower enzyme activity was detected in a KLK6 knockdown tumor model and in the HCT116 tumor model treated with antithrombin III inhibitor. In all cases, comparisons of the enzyme responsive and enzyme unresponsive CEST signals were critical for the detection of enzyme activity. CONCLUSIONS:This study has established that catalyCEST MRI with an exogenous diaCEST agent can evaluate enzyme activity and inhibition in solution, in vitro and in vivo.
Project description:Chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is an innovative molecular imaging technique in which contrast agents are labeled by saturating their exchangeable proton spins by radio-frequency irradiation. Salicylic acid and its analogues are a promising class of highly sensitive, diamagnetic CEST agents. Herein, polymeric agents grafted with salicylic acid moieties and a known high-affinity ligand targeting prostate-specific membrane antigen in approximately 10:1 molar ratio were synthesized to provide sufficient MRI sensitivity and receptor specificity. The proton-exchange properties of the contrast agent in solution and in an experimental murine model are reported to demonstrate the feasibility of receptor-targeted CEST MRI of prostate cancer. Furthermore, the CEST imaging data were validated with an 111 In-labeled analogue of the agent by in vivo single photon emission computed tomographic imaging and tissue biodistribution studies.
Project description:Chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) is a new approach for generating magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast that allows monitoring of protein properties in vivo. In this method, a radiofrequency pulse is used to saturate the magnetization of specific protons on a target molecule, which is then transferred to water protons via chemical exchange and detected using MRI. One advantage of CEST imaging is that the magnetizations of different protons can be specifically saturated at different resonance frequencies. This enables the detection of multiple targets simultaneously in living tissue. We present here a CEST MRI approach for detecting the activity of cytosine deaminase (CDase), an enzyme that catalyzes the deamination of cytosine to uracil. Our findings suggest that metabolism of two substrates of the enzyme, cytosine and 5-fluorocytosine (5FC), can be detected using saturation pulses targeted specifically to protons at +2 ppm and +2.4 ppm (with respect to water), respectively. Indeed, after deamination by recombinant CDase, the CEST contrast disappears. In addition, expression of the enzyme in three different cell lines exhibiting different expression levels of CDase shows good agreement with the CDase activity measured with CEST MRI. Consequently, CDase activity was imaged with high-resolution CEST MRI. These data demonstrate the ability to detect enzyme activity based on proton exchange. Consequently, CEST MRI has the potential to follow the kinetics of multiple enzymes in real time in living tissue.
Project description:Chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) is a novel MRI contrast mechanism that is well suited for imaging, however, existing small molecule CEST agents suffer from low sensitivity. We have developed salicylic acid conjugated dendrimers as a versatile, high performance nanoplatform. In particular, we have prepared nanocarriers based on generation 5-poly(amidoamine) (PAMAM) dendrimers with salicylic acid covalently attached to their surface. The resulting conjugates produce strong CEST contrast 9.4 ppm from water with the proton exchange tunable from ?1000 s(-1) to ?4500 s(-1) making these dendrimers well suited for sensitive detection. Furthermore, we demonstrate that these conjugates can be used for monitoring convection enhanced delivery into U87 glioblastoma bearing mice, with the contrast produced by these nanoparticles persisting for over 1.5 h and distributed over ?50% of the tumors. Our results demonstrate that SA modified dendrimers present a promising new nanoplatform for medical applications.
Project description:Phenol contains an exchangeable hydroxyl proton resonant at 4.8?ppm from the resonance frequency of water in the 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR) spectrum, enabling itself to be detected at sub-mM concentration by either chemical exchange saturation transfer magnetic resonance imaging (CEST MRI) or exchange-based T2 relaxation enhancement (T2ex) effect under acidic and basic conditions, respectively. We recently investigated the T2ex effects of phenol and its derivatives, but the CEST characteristics of phenols are unknown in detail, and no study on using the natural CEST MRI effects of phenol for detecting enzymatic activity has been conducted. Herein, on the basis of the inherent CEST MR property of phenol, namely phenolCEST, we developed the first MRI approach to detect acid phosphatase (AcP) enzymatic activity. Upon the activity of AcP at pH?=?5.0, non-CEST-detectable enzyme substrate phenyl phosphate was converted to CEST-detectable phenol, providing a simple way to quantify AcP activity directly without the need for a second signalling probe. We showed the application of this phenolCEST biosensor for measuring AcP activity in both enzyme solutions and cell lysates of prostate cells. This work opens a door for the utilization of phenolCEST MRI technique in sensor design and development.