Theranostics 2017; 7(5):1257-1265. doi:10.7150/thno.18238

Research Paper

Design and Development of Fluorescent Vemurafenib Analogs for In Vivo Imaging

Hannes Mikula1*, Shawn Stapleton1*, Rainer H. Kohler1, Claudio Vinegoni1, Ralph Weissleder1, 2✉

1. Center for Systems Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital, 185 Cambridge Street, CPZN 5206, Boston, MA, 02114, USA;
2. Department of Systems Biology, Harvard Medical School, 200 Longwood Ave, Boston, MA, 02115, USA.
* These authors contributed equally


Herein we describe fluorescent derivatives of vemurafenib to probe therapeutic BRAF inhibition in live cells and in vivo. The compounds were evaluated and compared by determining target binding, inhibition of mutant BRAF melanoma cell lines and live cell imaging. We show that vemurafenib-BODIPY is a superior imaging drug to visualize the targets of vemurafenib in live cells and in vivo in non-resistant and resistant melanoma tumors.

Keywords: fluorescence microscopy, imaging agents, kinase inhibitor, BRAF

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How to cite this article:
Mikula H, Stapleton S, Kohler RH, Vinegoni C, Weissleder R. Design and Development of Fluorescent Vemurafenib Analogs for In Vivo Imaging. Theranostics 2017; 7(5):1257-1265. doi:10.7150/thno.18238. Available from