C-13 MR spectroscopy measurements of glutaminase activity in human hepatocellular carcinoma cells using hyperpolarized C-13-labeled glutamine

Ferdia A. Gallagher, Mikko I. Kettunen, Sam E. Day, Mathilde Hauge Lerche, Kevin M. Brindle

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) is an emerging technique for increasing the sensitivity of C-13 MR spectroscopy (MRS). [5-C-13(1)]Glutamine was hyperpolarized using this technique by up to 5%, representing a 6000-fold increase in sensitivity. The conversion of hyperpolarized glutamine to glutamate by mitochondrial glutaminase was demonstrated using C-13-MRS measurements in cultured human hepatoma cells (HepG2). These results represent the first step in developing an imaging technique for detecting glutamine metabolism in vivo. Furthermore, since glutamine utilization has been correlated with cell proliferation, the study suggests a new technique for detecting changes in tumor cell proliferation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMagnetic Resonance in Medicine
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)253-257
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • hyperpolarized C-13
  • dynamic nuclear polarization
  • glutamine metabolism
  • hepatocellular carcinoma
  • cell proliferation
  • enzyme activity
  • hepatocellular carcinoma Carcinoma, Hepatocellular (MeSH) Liver Neoplasms (MeSH) digestive system disease, neoplastic disease
  • Primates Mammalia Vertebrata Chordata Animalia (Animals, Chordates, Humans, Mammals, Primates, Vertebrates) - Hominidae [86215] HepG2 cell line cell_line human hepatocellular carcinoma cells
  • glutamate 11070-68-1
  • glutaminase 9001-47-2 EC
  • glutamine 6899-04-3
  • 02508, Cytology - Human
  • 10064, Biochemistry studies - Proteins, peptides and amino acids
  • 10802, Enzymes - General and comparative studies: coenzymes
  • 14004, Digestive system - Physiology and biochemistry
  • 14006, Digestive system - Pathology
  • 24004, Neoplasms - Pathology, clinical aspects and systemic effects
  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics
  • Ingestion and Assimilation
  • carbon-13 MR spectroscopy laboratory techniques, spectrum analysis techniques
  • Digestive System
  • Enzymology
  • Methods and Techniques
  • Tumor Biology

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