• Uwe Haberkorn
Part of the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology book series (HEP, volume 185/2)


Assessment of gene function following the completion of human genome sequencing may be done using radionuclide imaging procedures. These procedures are needed for the evaluation of genetically manipulated animals or newly designed biomolecules which require a thorough understanding of physiology, biochemistry and pharmacology. The experimental approaches will involve many new technologies, including in-vivo imaging with SPECT and PET. Nuclear medicine procedures may be applied for the determination of gene function and regulation using established and new tracers or using in-vivo reporter genes, such as genes encoding enzymes, receptors, antigens or transporters. Visualization of in-vivo reporter gene expression can be done using radiolabeled substrates, antibodies or ligands. Combinations of specific promoters and in-vivo reporter genes may deliver information about the regulation of the corresponding genes. Furthermore, protein-protein interactions and the activation of signal transduction pathways may be visualized noninvasively. The role of radiolabeled antisense molecules for the analysis of mRNA content has to be investigated. However, possible applications are therapeutic interventions using triplex oligonucleotides with therapeutic isotopes, which can be brought near to specific DNA sequences to induce DNA strand breaks at selected loci.

After the identification of new genes, functional information is required to investigate the role of these genes in living organisms. This can be done by analysis of gene expression, protein-protein interaction or the biodistribution of new molecules and may result in new diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, which include visualization of and interference with gene transcription, and the development of new biomolecules to be used for diagnosis and treatment. Furthermore, the characterization of tumor cell-specific properties allows the design of new treatment modalities, such as gene therapy, which circumvent resistance mechanisms towards conventional chemotherapeutic drugs.


Positron Emission Tomography MIBG Uptake Herpes Simplex Virus Thymidine Kinase Iodide Uptake Sodium Iodide Symporter 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Uwe Haberkorn
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Nuclear MedicineUniversity of HeidelbergHeidelberg

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