Detection of increased 64Cu uptake by human copper transporter 1 gene overexpression using PET with 64CuCl2 in human breast cancer xenograft model

Kwang Il Kim, Su Jin Jang, Ju Hui Park, Yong Jin Lee, Tae Sup Lee, Kwang Sun Woo, Hyun Park, Jae Gol Choe, Gwang Il An, Joo Hyun Kang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Copper is an essential cofactor for a variety of biochemical processes including oxidative phosphorylation, cellular antioxidant activity, and elimination of free radicals. The copper transporter 1 is known to be involved in cellular uptake of copper ions. In this study, we evaluated the utility of human copper transporter 1 (hCTR1) gene as a new reporter gene for 64Cu PET imaging.

Methods: Human breast cancer cells (MDA-MB-231) were infected with a lentiviral vector constitutively expressing the hCTR1 gene under super cytomegalovirus promoter, and positive clones (MDA-MB-231-hCTR1) were selected. The expression of hCTR1 gene in MDA-MB-231-hCTR1 cells was measured by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, Western blot, and 64Cu uptake assay. To evaluate the cytotoxic effects induced by hCTR1 expression, the dose-dependent cell survival rate after treatment with cisplatin (Cis-diaminedichloroplatinum (II) [CDDP]) was determined by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay and trypan blue dye exclusion. Small-animal PET images were acquired in tumorbearing mice from 2 to 48 h after an intravenous injection of 64Cu.

Results: The hCTR1 gene expression in MDA-MB-231-hCTR1 cells was confirmed at the RNA and protein expression and the cellular 64Cu uptake level. MTT assay and trypan blue dye exclusion showed that the cell viability of MDA-MB-231-hCTR1 cells decreased more rapidly than that of MDA-MB-231 cells after treatment with CDDP for 96 or 72 h, respectively. Small-animal PET imaging revealed a higher accumulation of 64Cu in MDA-MB-231-hCTR1 tumors than in MDA-MB-231 tumors. With respect to the biodistribution data, the percentage injected dose per gram of 64Cu in the MDA-MB-231 tumors and MDA-MB-231-hCTR1 tumors at 48 h after 64Cu injection was 2.581 ± 0.254 and 5.373 ± 1.098, respectively.

Conclusion: An increase in 64Cu uptake induced by the expression of hCTR1 gene was demonstrated in vivo and in vitro, suggesting the potential use of hCTR1 gene as a new imaging reporter gene for PET with 64CuCl2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1692-1698
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Oct 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright 2014 SNMMI; all rights reserved.


  • Cisplatin
  • Cu
  • HCTR1
  • PET
  • Reporter gene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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