- Volume 34 Issue 1
The rapid progress of molecular genetic methods over the past two decades has necessitated the development of methods to detect and quantify genetic activity within living bodies. Reporter genes provide a rapid and convenient tool to monitor gene expression by yielding a readily measurable phenotype upon expression when introduced into a biological system. Conventional reporter systems, however, are limited in their usefulness for in vivo experiments or human gene therapy because of its invasive nature which requires cell damage before assays can be performed. This offers an unique opportunity for nuclear imaging techniques to develope a novel method for imaging both the location and amount of gene expression noninvasively. Current developments to achieve this goal rely on utilizing either reporter enzymes that accumulate radiolabeled substrates or reporter receptors that bind specific radioligands. This overview includes a brief introduction to the background for such research, a summary of published results, and an outlook for future directions.