Going Nuclear with Amino Acids and Proteins: Basic Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Primer for the Technologist

Academic Article


  • In recent years, there has been an influx of new tracers into the field of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging. Most of those that have been Food and Drug Administration–approved for clinical imaging exploit various mechanisms of protein biochemistry and molecular biology to bring about their actions, such as amino acid metabolism, protein folding, receptor–ligand interactions, and surface transport mechanisms. In this review, we attempt to paint a clear picture of the basic biochemistry and molecular biology of protein structure, translation, transcription, posttranslational modifications, and protein targeting, in the context of the various radiopharmaceuticals currently used clinically, all in an easy-to-understand language for entry-level technologists in the field. Tracer characteristics, including indications, dosage, injection-to-imaging time, and the logic behind the normal and pathophysiologic biodistribution of these newer molecular tracers, are also discussed.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Glasgow K; Dillard M; Hertenstein E; Justin A; George R; Brady A
  • Start Page

  • 186
  • End Page

  • 194
  • Volume

  • 50
  • Issue

  • 3