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Cyclic versus Noncyclic Chelating Scaffold for 89Zr-Labeled ZEGFR:2377 Affibody Bioconjugates Targeting Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Overexpression

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posted on 21.11.2017, 00:00 authored by Dominik Summer, Javad Garousi, Maryam Oroujeni, Bogdan Mitran, Ken G. Andersson, Anzhelika Vorobyeva, John Löfblom, Anna Orlova, Vladimir Tolmachev, Clemens Decristoforo
Zirconium-89 is an emerging radionuclide for positron emission tomography (PET) especially for biomolecules with slow pharmacokinetics as due to its longer half-life, in comparison to fluorine-18 and gallium-68, imaging at late time points is feasible. Desferrioxamine B (DFO), a linear bifunctional chelator (BFC) is mostly used for this radionuclide so far but shows limitations regarding stability. Our group recently reported on fusarinine C (FSC) with similar zirconium-89 complexing properties but potentially higher stability related to its cyclic structure. This study was designed to compare FSC and DFO head-to-head as bifunctional chelators for 89Zr-radiolabeled EGFR-targeting ZEGFR:2377 affibody bioconjugates. FSC-ZEGFR:2377 and DFO-ZEGFR:2377 were evaluated regarding radiolabeling, in vitro stability, specificity, cell uptake, receptor affinity, biodistribution, and microPET-CT imaging. Both conjugates were efficiently labeled with zirconium-89 at room temperature but radiochemical yields increased substantially at elevated temperature, 85 °C. Both 89Zr-FSC-ZEGFR:2377 and 89Zr-DFO-ZEGFR:2377 revealed remarkable specificity, affinity and slow cell-line dependent internalization. Radiolabeling at 85 °C showed comparable results in A431 tumor xenografted mice with minor differences regarding blood clearance, tumor and liver uptake. In comparison 89Zr-DFO-ZEGFR:2377, radiolabeled at room temperature, showed a significant difference regarding tumor-to-organ ratios. MicroPET-CT imaging studies of 89Zr-FSC-ZEGFR:2377 as well as 89Zr-DFO-ZEGFR:2377 confirmed these findings. In summary we were able to show that FSC is a suitable alternative to DFO for radiolabeling of biomolecules with zirconium-89. Furthermore, our findings indicate that 89Zr-radiolabeling of DFO conjugates at higher temperature reduces off-chelate binding leading to significantly improved tumor-to-organ ratios and therefore enhancing image contrast.

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