Small-animal PET imaging of human epidermal growth factor receptor type 2 expression with site-specific 18F-labeled protein scaffold molecules.
ABSTRACT Human epidermal growth factor receptor type 2 (HER2) is a well-established tumor biomarker that is overexpressed in a wide variety of cancers and that serves as a molecular target for therapeutic intervention. HER2 also serves as a prognostic indicator of patient survival and as a predictive marker of the response to antineoplastic therapy. The development of (18)F-labeled biomolecules for PET imaging of HER2 (HER2 PET) is very important because it may provide a powerful tool for the early detection of HER2-positive tumor recurrence and for the monitoring of HER2-based tumor treatment.
In this study, anti-HER2 monomeric and dimeric protein scaffold molecules [Z(HER2:477) and (Z(HER2:477))(2), respectively] were radiofluorinated at a reasonable radiochemical yield (13%-18%) by use of site-specific oxime chemistry. The resulting radiofluorinated protein scaffold molecules were then evaluated as potential molecular probes for small-animal HER2 PET by use of a SKOV3 tumor-bearing mouse model.
The 4-(18)F-fluorobenzaldehyde conjugated aminooxy-protein scaffolds [(18)F-N-(4-fluorobenzylidene)oxime (FBO)-Z(HER2:477) and (18)F-FBO-(Z(HER2:477))(2)] both displayed specific HER2-binding ability in vitro. Biodistribution and small-animal PET imaging studies further revealed that (18)F-FBO-Z(HER2:477) showed rapid and high SKOV3 tumor accumulation and quick clearance from normal tissues, whereas (18)F-FBO-(Z(HER2:477))(2) showed poor in vivo performance (low tumor uptake and tumor-to-normal tissue ratios). The specificity of (18)F-FBO-Z(HER2:477) for SKOV3 tumors was confirmed by its lower uptake on pretreatment of tumor-bearing mice with the HER2-targeting agents Z(HER2) and trastuzumab. Moreover, small-animal PET imaging studies revealed that (18)F-FBO-Z(HER2:477) produced higher-quality tumor imaging than (18)F-FBO-(Z(HER2:477))(2). (18)F-FBO-Z(HER2:477) could clearly identify HER2-positive tumors with good contrast.
Overall, these data demonstrate that (18)F-FBO-Z(HER2:477) is a promising PET probe for imaging HER2 expression in living mice. It has a high potential for translation to clinical applications. The radiofluorination method developed can also be used as a general strategy for the site-specific labeling of other proteins with (18)F. The protein scaffold molecules used here are attractive for the further development of PET probes for other molecular targets.
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ABSTRACT: Molecular imaging shows promise as a useful tool to aid drug discovery and development and also to provide important prognostic and predictive diagnostic information affecting patient management in the clinic. However, the use of molecular imaging diagnostically is not widely adopted, in part due to the lack of suitable targeting agents. Affibody molecules are a class of small and very stable protein domains, which can be used to selectively address a wide range of protein targets. Their small size enables high contrast radionuclide imaging and they can be produced by conventional peptide synthesis methods. Their potential utility in molecular imaging is highlighted in a large number of animal studies using anti-HER2 Affibody tracers and has recently been validated in breast cancer patients with HER2-expressing metastases. The therapeutic efficacy of the Affibody molecules in this indication was demonstrated in preclinical models using a targeted radionuclide as the effector function. This review will focus on the recent use of Affibody molecules for molecular imaging and their application for radioimmunotherapy.Current opinion in drug discovery & development 04/2007; 10(2):167-75. · 5.12 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Affibody molecules present a new class of affinity proteins, which utilizes a scaffold based on a 58-amino acid domain derived from protein A. The small (7 kDa) Affibody molecule can be selected to bind to cell-surface targets with high affinity. An Affibody molecule (ZHER2:342) with a dissociation constant (Kd) of 22 pM for binding to the HER2 receptor has been reported earlier. Preclinical and pilot clinical studies have demonstrated the utility of radiolabeled ZHER2:342 in imaging of HER2-expressing tumors. The small size and cysteine-free structure of Affibody molecules enable complete peptide synthesis and direct incorporation of radionuclide chelators. The goal of this study was to evaluate if incorporation of the natural peptide sequences cysteine-diglycine (CGG) and cysteine-triglycine (CGGG) sequences would enable labeling of Affibody molecules with 99mTc. In a model monomeric form, the chelating sequences were incorporated by peptide synthesis. The HER2-binding affinity was 280 and 250 pM for CGG-ZHER2:342 and CGGG-ZHER2:342, respectively. Conjugates were directly labeled with 99mTc with 90% efficiency and preserved the capacity to bind specifically to HER2-expressing cells. The biodistribution in normal mice showed a rapid clearance from the blood and the majority of organs (except kidneys). In the mice bearing SKOV-3 xenografts, tumor uptake of 99mTc-CGG-ZHER2:342 was HER2-specific and a tumor-to-blood ratio of 9.2 was obtained at 6 h postinjection. Gamma-camera imaging with 99mTc-CGG-ZHER2:342 clearly visualized tumors at 6 h postinjection. The results show that the use of a cysteine-based chelator enables 99mTc-labeling of Affibody molecules for imaging.Bioconjugate Chemistry 01/2007; 18(2):549-58. · 4.58 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The development of therapeutic inhibitors of key signaling pathways has been hampered by the inability to assess the effect of a drug on its target in the patient. 17-allylaminogeldanamycin (17-AAG) is the first Hsp90 inhibitor to be tested in a clinical trial. It causes the degradation of HER2 and other Hsp90 targets, and has antitumor activity in preclinical models. We have developed a method for imaging the inhibition of Hsp90 by 17-AAG. We labeled an F(ab')2 fragment of the anti-HER2 antibody Herceptin with 68Ga, a positron emitter, which allows the sequential positron-emission tomographic imaging of HER2 expression. We have used this method to quantify as a function of time the loss and recovery of HER2 induced by 17-AAG in animal tumors. This approach allows noninvasive imaging of the pharmacodynamics of a targeted drug and will facilitate the rational design of combination therapy based on target inhibition.Nature Biotechnology 07/2004; 22(6):701-6. · 32.44 Impact Factor