A novel F-18-labeled two-helix scaffold protein for PET imaging of HER2-positive tumor
ABSTRACT Two-helix scaffold proteins (~ 5 kDa) against human epidermal growth factor receptor type 2 (HER2) have been discovered in our previous work. In this research we aimed to develop an (18)F-labeled two-helix scaffold protein for positron emission tomography (PET) imaging of HER2-positive tumors.
An aminooxy-functionalized two-helix peptide (AO-MUT-DS) with high HER2 binding affinity was synthesized through conventional solid phase peptide synthesis. The purified linear peptide was cyclized by I(2) oxidation to form a disulfide bridge. The cyclic peptide was then conjugated with a radiofluorination synthon, 4-(18)F-fluorobenzyl aldehyde ((18)F-FBA), through the aminooxy functional group at the peptide N terminus (30% yield, non-decay corrected). The binding affinities of the peptides were analyzed by Biacore analysis. Cell uptake assay of the resulting PET probe, (18)F-FBO-MUT-DS, was performed at 37°C. (18)F-FBO-MUT-DS with high specific activity (20-32 MBq/nmol, 88-140 μCi/μg, end of synthesis) was injected into mice xenograft model bearing SKOV3 tumor. MicroPET and biodistribution and metabolic stability studies were then conducted.
Cell uptake assays showed high and specific cell uptake (~12% applied activity at 1 h) by incubation of (18)F-FBO-MUT-DS with HER2 high-expressing SKOV3 ovarian cancer cells. The affinities (K(D)) of AO-MUT-DS and FBO-MUT-DS as tested by Biacore analysis were 2 and 1 nM, respectively. In vivo small animal PET demonstrated fast tumor targeting, high tumor accumulation, and good tumor to normal tissue contrast of (18)F-FBO-MUT-DS. Biodistribution studies further revealed that the probe had excellent tumor uptake (6.9%ID/g at 1 h post-injection) and was cleared through both liver and kidneys. Co-injection of the probe with 500 μg of HER2 Affibody protein reduced the tumor uptake (6.9 vs 1.8%ID/g, p < 0.05).
F-FBO-MUT-DS displays excellent HER2 targeting ability and tumor PET imaging quality. The two-helix scaffold proteins are suitable for development of (18)F-based PET probes.
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ABSTRACT: The development of improved methods for early detection and characterization of cancer presents a major clinical challenge. One approach that has shown excellent potential in preclinical and clinical evaluation is molecular imaging with small-scaffold, non-antibody based, engineered proteins. These novel diagnostic agents produce high contrast images due to their fast clearance from the bloodstream and healthy tissues, can be evolved to bind a multitude of cancer biomarkers, and are easily functionalized by site-specific bioconjugation methods. Several small protein scaffolds have been verified for in vivo molecular imaging including affibodies and their two-helix variants, knottins, fibronectins, DARPins, and several natural ligands. Further, the biodistribution of these engineered ligands can be optimized through rational mutation of the conserved regions, careful selection and placement of chelator, and modification of molecular size.11/2013; 2(4). DOI:10.1016/j.coche.2013.08.009
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ABSTRACT: Affibodies are a new class of engineered affinity proteins widely used in imaging, diagnostics and therapeutics, due to their improved properties, such as small size, robustness, high stability, and high imaging contrast compared to the best known affinity molecules (i.e., antibodies). Affibodies can also be used as biological receptors in bioassays and their incorporation in biosensors constitutes a research field of high potential at its very beginning. This review provides an up-to-date overview of the analytical applications of affibodies, and their isolation and characteristics. We also address trends in the future outlook on using affibodies in research.TrAC Trends in Analytical Chemistry 12/2014; 65. DOI:10.1016/j.trac.2014.10.014 · 6.61 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Affibody molecules are a class of affinity agents for molecular imaging based on a non-immunoglobulin protein scaffold. Previous studies have demonstrated high contrast for in vivo imaging of cancer-associated molecular abnormalities using Affibody molecules. Using the radionuclide (18)F for labeling and PET as the imaging modality, the sensitivity of molecular imaging using Affibody molecules can be further increased. The use of oxime formation between an aminooxy-functionalized peptide and (18)F-fluorobenzaldehyde ((18)F-FBA) is a promising way of radiolabeling targeting peptides. However, previous studies demonstrated that application of this method to Affibody molecules is associated with high liver uptake. We hypothesized that incorporation of a triglutamyl spacer between the aminooxy moiety and the N-terminus of a synthetic Affibody molecule would decrease the hepatic uptake of the (18)F-N-(4-fluorobenzylidine)oxime)((18)F-FBO)-labeled tracer. To verify this, we have produced two variants of the HER2-targeting ZHER2:342 Affibody molecule by peptide synthesis: OA-PEP4313, where aminooxyacetic acid was conjugated directly to the N-terminal alanine, and OA-E3-PEP4313, where a triglutamyl spacer was introduced between the aminooxy moiety and the N-terminus. We have found that the use of the spacer is associated with a minor decrease of affinity, from KD = 49 pM to KD = 180 pM. Radiolabeled (18)F-FBO-E3-PEP4313 demonstrated specific binding to HER2-expressing ovarian carcinoma SKOV-3 cells and slow internalization. Biodistribution studies in mice demonstrated that the use of a triglutamyl linker decreased uptake of radioactivity in liver 2.7-fold at 2 h after injection. Interestingly, radioactivity uptake in kidneys was also reduced (2.4-fold). Experiments in BALB/C nu/nu mice bearing SKOV-3 demonstrated HER2-specific uptake of (18)F-FBO-E3-PEP4313 in tumors. At 2 h pi, the tumor uptake (20 ± 2 % ID/g) exceeded uptake in liver 5-fold and uptake in kidneys 3.6-fold. The tumor-to-blood ratio was 21±3. The microPET/CT imaging experiment confirmed the biodistribution data. In conclusion, the use of a triglutamyl spacer is a convenient way to improve the biodistribution profile of Affibody molecules labeled at the N-terminus using (18)F-FBA. It provides at tracer capable of producing high-contrast images of HER2-expressing tumors.Bioconjugate Chemistry 12/2013; 25(1). DOI:10.1021/bc400343r · 4.82 Impact Factor