Firefly (P. pyralis) luciferase is an enzyme that produces bioluminescence in the presence of D-luciferin. The DNA for the luciferase 2 (luc2) gene, along with a puromycin resistance gene, is incorporated into the genome of the cells using a lentiviral transduction system.
While culturing the cells, puromycin is added to the medium to select only the cells with the inserted luciferase gene. Once the luc-enabled cells are injected into a mouse or rat and D-luciferin is administered intravenously, the light produced can be detected with Molecular Imaging’s IVIS® Spectrum in vivo imaging system (Figure 1). This way, the localization and accumulation of the injected cells can be monitored over time. Most commonly, cancer cells are luc-enabled so that disease progression/regression can be monitored.
The promise of gene based therapies is stronger than ever. Testament to this is the strides being taken in several areas; including mRNA based delivery and RNA interference.1
These successes are driving “new” applications for an “old” in vivo imaging assay, bioluminescence imaging (BLI). BLI is based on detection of a reporter gene/protein (traditionally firefly luciferase, FFluc) and has been used most commonly to detect tumor cells engineered to express the reporter. It is a natural extension to use BLI for imaging gene delivery in vivo, utilizing reporters like FFluc as “tool genes” to assess the delivery platform.2,3
Is it possible to get more efficiency in your conventional and specialty tests while maintaining ongoing quality? ISO 15189:2012 accreditation answers this question by delivering a comprehensive approach to quality management in medical, central and referral laboratories. Not only can these standards ensure quality, but they can reduce your risk of costly delays and ultimately save money in your trials.
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