Positron emission tomography probe demonstrates a striking concentration of ribose salvage in the liver

Peter M. Clark, Graciela Flores, Nikolai M. Evdokimov, Melissa N. McCracken, Timothy Chai, Evan Nair-Gill, Fiona O'Mahony, Simon W. Beaven, Kym F. Faull, Michael E. Phelps, Michael E. Jung, Owen N. Witte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


PET is a powerful technique for quantifying and visualizing biochemical pathways in vivo. Here, we develop and validate a novel PET probe, [ 18F]-2-deoxy-2-fluoroarabinose ([18F]DFA), for in vivo imaging of ribose salvage. DFA mimics ribose in vivo and accumulates in cells following phosphorylation by ribokinase and further metabolism by transketolase. We use [18F]DFA to show that ribose preferentially accumulates in the liver, suggesting a striking tissue specificity for ribose metabolism. We demonstrate that solute carrier family 2, member 2 (also known as GLUT2), a glucose transporter expressed in the liver, is one ribose transporter, but we do not know if others exist. [18F]DFA accumulation is attenuated in several mouse models of metabolic syndrome, suggesting an association between ribose salvage and glucose and lipid metabolism. These results describe a tool for studying ribose salvage and suggest that plasma ribose is preferentially metabolized in the liver.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E2866-E2874
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number28
StatePublished - Jul 15 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Molecular imaging
  • Slc2a2
  • Sugar metabolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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