Multivalent Bifunctional Chelator Scaffolds for Gallium-68 Based Positron Emission Tomography Imaging Probe Design: Signal Amplification via Multivalency

Department of Radiology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas, United States.
Bioconjugate Chemistry (Impact Factor: 4.82). 08/2011; 22(8):1650-62. DOI: 10.1021/bc200227d
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The role of the multivalent effect has been well recognized in the design of molecular imaging probes toward the desired imaging signal amplification. Recently, we reported a bifunctional chelator (BFC) scaffold design, which provides a simple and versatile approach to impart multivalency to radiometal based nuclear imaging probes. In this work, we report a series of BFC scaffolds ((t)Bu(3)-1-COOH, (t)Bu(3)-2-(COOH)(2), and (t)Bu(3)-3-(COOH)(3)) constructed on the framework of 1,4,7-triazacyclononane-1,4,7-triacetic acid (NOTA) for (68)Ga-based PET probe design and signal amplification via the multivalent effect. For proof of principle, a known integrin α(v)β(3) specific ligand (c(RGDyK)) was used to build the corresponding NOTA conjugates (H(3)1, H(3)2, and H(3)3), which present 1-3 copies of c(RGDyK) peptide, respectively, in a systematic manner. Using the integrin α(v)β(3) binding affinities (IC(50) values), enhanced specific binding was observed for multivalent conjugates (H(3)2: 43.9 ± 16.1 nM; H(3)3: 14.7 ± 5.0 nM) as compared to their monovalent counterpart (H(3)1: 171 ± 60 nM) and the intact c(RGDyK) peptide (204 ± 76 nM). The obtained conjugates were efficiently labeled with (68)Ga(3+) within 30 min at room temperature in high radiochemical yields (>95%). The in vivo evaluation of the labeled conjugates, (68)Ga-1, (68)Ga-2, and (68)Ga-3, was performed using male severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) mice bearing integrin α(v)β(3) positive PC-3 tumor xenografts (n = 3). All (68)Ga-labeled conjugates showed high in vivo stability with no detectable metabolites found by radio-HPLC within 2 h postinjection (p.i.). The PET signal amplification in PC-3 tumor by the multivalent effect was clearly displayed by the tumor uptake of the (68)Ga-labeled conjugates ((68)Ga-3: 2.55 ± 0.50%ID/g; (68)Ga-2: 1.90 ± 0.10%ID/g; (68)Ga-1: 1.66 ± 0.15%ID/g) at 2 h p.i. In summary, we have designed and synthesized a series of NOTA-based BFC scaffolds with signal amplification properties, which may find potential applications as diagnostic gallium radiopharmaceuticals.

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