Imaging of Gαq Proteins in Mouse and Human Organs and Tissues

Jan H. Voss, Haneen Al-Hroub, Robin Gedschold, Jennifer M. Dietrich, Evelyn Gaffal, Marieta Toma, Stefan Kehraus, Gabriele M. König, Peter Brust, Bernd K. Fleischmann, Daniela Wenzel, Winnie Deuther-Conrad, Christa E. Müller*

*Corresponding author for this work
1 Citation (Scopus)


G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) transfer extracellular signals across cell membranes by activating intracellular heterotrimeric G proteins. Several studies suggested G proteins as novel drug targets for the treatment of complex diseases, e.g., asthma and cancer. Recently, we developed specific radiotracers, [³H]PSB-15900-FR and [³H]PSB-16254-YM, for the Gαq family of G proteins by tritiation of the macrocyclic natural products FR900359 (FR) and YM-254890 (YM). In the present study, we utilized these potent radioligands to perform autoradiography studies in tissues of healthy mice, mouse models of disease, and human tissues. Specific binding was high, while non-specific binding was extraordinarily low, giving nearly identical results for both radioligands. High expression levels of Gαq proteins were detected in healthy mouse organs showing the following rank order of potency: kidney > liver > brain > pancreas > lung > spleen, while expression in the heart was low. Organ sub-structures, e.g., of mouse brain and lung, were clearly distinguishable. Whereas an acute asthma model in mice did not result in altered Gαq protein expressions as compared to control animals, a cutaneous melanoma model displayed significantly increased expression in comparison to healthy skin. These results suggest the future development of Gαq-protein-binding radio-tracers as novel diagnostics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number57
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01.2023

DFG Research Classification Scheme

  • 205-14 Haematology, Oncology


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