Human-Derived Reporter Gene for Positron Emission Tomography Imaging

Tech ID: 29864 / UC Case 2011-043-0


UCLA researchers from the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, & Molecular Genetics have developed a novel reporter gene for positron emission tomography imaging of transplanted cells.


Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Imaging is a useful imaging modality that primarily allows for functional imaging, typically using radioactive metabolic tracers. PET reporter genes have previously been developed for the imaging of transgenic transplanted cells. However, these non-human reporter genes employ a viral enzyme that exhibits immunogenicity over time.


UCLA researchers have developed a novel PET reporter gene which is human-derived allowing for reduced immunogenicity. Specific site direction mutations the reporter enzyme can also allow engineered specificity for non-natural nucleoside analog probes. This allows for selective monitoring of engineered transplanted cells, excluding endogenous cells.


  • Imaging of transplanted cells in vivo 
  • Cancer immunotherapy monitoring 
  • Stem cell transplant evaluation 
  • Pre-clinical testing


  • Non-immunogenic in humans 
  • Engineered reporting specificity to non-natural substrate 
  • Selective monitoring of transplanted cells


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  • Witte, Owen N.

Other Information


Positron Emission Tomography, PET, reporter gene, reporter enzyme, oncology, cancer, stem cells, immunotherapy, transplant, tracer

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