American Chemical Society
ic3c02929_si_001.pdf (10.88 MB)

Coordination Chemistry of Sulfur-Containing Bifunctional Chelators: Toward in Vivo Stabilization of 64Cu PET Imaging Agents for Alzheimer’s Disease

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-12-07, 17:37 authored by Zhengxin Yu, Glenn Blade, Bailey S. Bouley, Iwona T. Dobrucki, Lawrence W. Dobrucki, Liviu M. Mirica
The broader utilization of 64Cu positron emission tomography (PET) imaging agents has been hindered by the unproductive demetalation induced by bioreductants. To advance the development of 64Cu-based PET imaging tracers for Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), there is a need for novel ligand design strategies. In this study, we developed sulfur-containing dithiapyridinophane (N2S2) bifunctional chelators (BFCs) as well as all nitrogen-based diazapyridinophane (N4) BFCs to compare their abilities to chelate Cu and target Aβ aggregates. Through spectrophotometric titrations and electrochemical measurements, we have demonstrated that the N2S2-based BFCs exhibit >10 orders of magnitude higher binding affinity toward Cu(I) compared to their N4-based counterparts, while both types of BFCs exhibit high stability constants toward Cu(II). Notably, solid state structures for both Cu(II) and Cu(I) complexes supported by the two ligand frameworks were obtained, providing molecular insights into their copper chelating abilities. Aβ binding experiments were conducted to study the structure–affinity relationship, and fluorescence microscopy imaging studies confirmed the selective labeling of the BFCs and their copper complexes. Furthermore, we investigated the potential of these ligands for the 64Cu-based PET imaging of AD through radiolabeling and autoradiography studies. We believe our findings provide molecular insights into the design of bifunctional Cu chelators that can effectively stabilize both Cu(II) and Cu(I) and, thus, can have significant implications for the development of 64Cu PET imaging as a diagnostic tool for AD.