Radiochemistry and Preclinical PET Imaging of (68)Ga-Desferrioxamine Radiotracers Targeting Prostate-Specific Membrane Antigen

Radiotracers incorporating the urea-based Glu-NH-C(O)-NH-Lys group have gained prominence due to their role in targeting prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA)-a clinical biomarker of prostate cancer. Here, the synthesis, radiolabeling, and in vitro and in vivo characterization of two (68)Ga-radiolabeled Glu-NH-C(O)-NH-Lys radiotracers conjugated to the desferrioxamine B (DFO) chelate were evaluated. Two linker groups based on amide bond and thiourea coupling chemistries were employed to develop (68)Ga-DFO-Nsucc-PSMA ((68)Ga-4) and (68)Ga-DFO- pNCS-Bn-PSMA ((68)Ga-7), respectively. Radiosynthesis proceeded quantitatively at room temperature with high radiochemical yields, chemical/radiochemical purities, and specific activities. Pharmacokinetic profiles of (68)Ga-4 and (68)Ga-7 were assessed using positron-emission tomography (PET) in mice bearing subcutaneous LNCaP tumors. Data were compared to the current clinical benchmark radiotracer (68)Ga-HBED-CC-PSMA ((68)Ga-1) (HBED = N,N'-Bis(2-hydroxy-5-(ethylene-beta-carboxy)benzyl)ethylenediamine N,N'-diacetic acid). Results indicated that the target binding affinity, protein association, blood pool and background organ clearance properties, and uptake in PSMA-positive lesions are strongly dependent on the nature of the chelate, the linker, and the spacer groups. Protein dissociation constants ( Kd values) were found to be predictive of pharmacokinetics in vivo. Compared to (68)Ga-1, (68)Ga-4 and (68)Ga-7 resulted in decreased tumor uptake but enhanced blood pool clearance and reduced residence time in the kidney. The study highlights the importance of maximizing protein binding affinity during radiotracer optimization.

Molecular imaging. 0000 Jan [Epub]

Eleni Gourni, Luigi Del Pozzo, Mark Bartholomä, Yvonne Kiefer, Philipp T Meyer, Helmut R Maecke, Jason P Holland

1 German Cancer Consortium (DKTK), Heidelberg, Germany., 2 Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nuclear Medicine, Medical Center-University of Freiburg, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany.