Development of Zinc-Specific iCEST MRI as an Imaging Biomarker for Prostate Cancer

Yue Yuan, Zhiliang Wei, Chengyan Chu, Jia Zhang, Xiaolei Song, Piotr Walczak, Jeff W.M. Bulte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The healthy prostate contains the highest concentration of mobile zinc 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 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15512-15517
Number of pages6
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number43
StatePublished - Oct 21 2019


  • MRI
  • imaging agents
  • prostate cancer
  • zinc

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry


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