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A Selective Carborane-Functionalized Gastrin-Releasing Peptide Receptor Agonist as Boron Delivery Agent for Boron Neutron Capture Therapy

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journal contribution
posted on 23.12.2019, 14:35 by Paul Hoppenz, Sylvia Els-Heindl, Martin Kellert, Robert Kuhnert, Stefan Saretz, Hans-Georg Lerchen, Johannes Köbberling, Bernd Riedl, Evamarie Hey-Hawkins, Annette G. Beck-Sickinger
Boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) allows the selective elimination of malignant tumor cells without affecting healthy tissue. Although this binary radiotherapy approach has been known for decades, BNCT failed to reach the daily clinics to date. One of the reasons is the lack of selective boron delivery agents. Using boron loaded peptide conjugates, which address G protein-coupled receptors overexpressed on tumor cells allow the intracellular accumulation of boron. The gastrin-releasing peptide receptor (GRPR) is a well-known target in cancer diagnosis and can potentially be used for BNCT. Here, we present the successful introduction of multiple bis-deoxygalactosyl-carborane building blocks to the GRPR-selective ligand [d-Phe6, β-Ala11, Ala13, Nle14]­Bn­(6–14) (sBB2L) generating peptide conjugates with up to 80 boron atoms per molecule. Receptor activation was retained, metabolic stability was increased, and uptake into PC3 cells was proven without showing any intrinsic cytotoxicity. Furthermore, undesired uptake into liver cells was suppressed by using l-deoxygalactosyl modified carborane building blocks. Due to its high boron loading and excellent GRPR selectivity, this conjugate can be considered as a promising boron delivery agent for BNCT.