Park, Jae Mo

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Jae Mo Park is an Assistant Professor in the Advanced Imaging Research Center at UT Southwestern and ECE Affiliate Assistant Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering at UT Dallas. His research focuses on the "development of novel noninvasive molecular imaging tools to elucidate in vivo metabolism and function of normal and pathological states, particularly in brain."

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    In Vivo Assessment of Increased Oxidation of Branched-Chain Amino Acids in Glioblastoma
    (Nature Publishing Group, 2019-01-23) Suh, Eul Hyun; Hackett, Edward P.; Wynn, R. Max; Chuang, David T.; Zhang, Bo; Luo, Weibo; Sherry, A. Dean; Park, Jae Mo; 0000-0002-7404-6971 (Park, JM); 0000-0001-7150-8301 (Sherry, AD); Sherry, A. Dean; Park, Jae Mo
    Altered branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) metabolism is a distinctive feature of various cancers and plays an important role in sustaining tumor proliferation and aggressiveness. Despite the therapeutic and diagnostic potentials, the role of BCAA metabolism in cancer and the activities of associated enzymes remain unclear. Due to its pivotal role in BCAA metabolism and rapid cellular transport, hyperpolarized ¹³C-labeled α-ketoisocaproate (KIC), the α-keto acid corresponding to leucine, can assess both BCAA aminotransferase (BCAT) and branched-chain α-keto acid dehydrogenase complex (BCKDC) activities via production of [1-¹³C]leucine or ¹³CO₂ (and thus (H¹³CO₃-), respectively. Here, we investigated BCAA metabolism of F98 rat glioma model in vivo using hyperpolarized ¹³C-KIC. In tumor regions, we observed a decrease in ¹³C-leucine production from injected hyperpolarized ¹³C-KIC via BCAT compared to the contralateral normal-appearing brain, and an increase in H¹³CO₃-, a catabolic product of KIC through the mitochondrial BCKDC. A parallel ex vivo ¹³C NMR isotopomer analysis following steady-state infusion of [U-¹³C] leucine to glioma-bearing rats verified the increased oxidation of leucine in glioma tissue. Both the in vivo hyperpolarized KIC imaging and the leucine infusion study indicate that KIC catabolism is upregulated through BCAT/BCKDC and further oxidized via the citric acid cycle in F98 glioma.
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    Cancer Metabolism and Tumor Heterogeneity: Imaging Perspectives Using MR Imaging and Spectroscopy
    (Wiley-Hindawi) Lin, Gigin; Keshari, Kayvan R.; Park, Jae Mo; Park, Jae Mo
    Cancer cells reprogram their metabolism to maintain viability via genetic mutations and epigenetic alterations, expressing overall dynamic heterogeneity. The complex relaxation mechanisms of nuclear spins provide unique and convertible tissue contrasts, making magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) pertinent imaging tools in both clinics and research. In this review, we summarized MR methods that visualize tumor characteristics and its metabolic phenotypes on an anatomical, microvascular, microstructural, microenvironmental, and metabolomics scale. The review will progress from the utilities of basic spin-relaxation contrasts in cancer imaging to more advanced imaging methods that measure tumor-distinctive parameters such as perfusion, water diffusion, magnetic susceptibility, oxygenation, acidosis, redox state, and cell death. Analytical methods to assess tumor heterogeneity are also reviewed in brief. Although the clinical utility of tumor heterogeneity from imaging is debatable, the quantification of tumor heterogeneity using functional and metabolic MR images with development of robust analytical methods and improved MR methods may offer more critical roles of tumor heterogeneity data in clinics. MRI/MRS can also provide insightful information on pharmacometabolomics, biomarker discovery, disease diagnosis and prognosis, and treatment response. With these future directions in mind, we anticipate the widespread utilization of these MR-based techniques in studying in vivo cancer biology to better address significant clinical needs.

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