Hyperpolarized 15N-labeled, deuterated tris(2-pyridylmethyl)amine as an MRI sensor of freely available Zn2+

Eul Hyun Suh, Jae Mo Park, Lloyd Lumata, A. Dean Sherry, Zoltan Kovacs

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1 Scopus citations


Dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) coupled with 15N magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provides an opportunity to image quantitative levels of biologically important metal ions such as Zn2+, Mg2+ or Ca2+ using appropriately designed 15N enriched probes. For example, a Zn-specific probe could prove particularly valuable for imaging the tissue distribution of freely available Zn2+ ions, an important known metal ion biomarker in the pancreas, in prostate cancer, and in several neurodegenerative diseases. In the present study, we prepare the cell-permeable, 15N-enriched, d6-deuterated version of the well-known Zn2+ chelator, tris(2-pyridylmethyl)amine (TPA) and demonstrate that the polarized ligand had favorable T1 and linewidth characteristics for 15N MRI. Examples of how polarized TPA can be used to quantify freely available Zn2+ in homogenized human prostate tissue and intact cells are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number185
JournalCommunications Chemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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