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Radiolabeling and Preclinical Evaluation of a New S‑Alkylated Cysteine Derivative Conjugated to C‑Substituted Macrocycle for Positron Emission Tomography

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journal contribution
posted on 18.06.2018, 12:12 by Surbhi Prakash, Puja Panwar Hazari, Virendra Kumar Meena, Anil Kumar Mishra
A new S-alkylated cysteine-derivatized tumor targeting agent, 2,2′-(12-(2-((2-acetamido-2-carboxyethyl)­thio)­acetamido)-11,13-dioxo-1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclotridecane-4,7-diyl)­diacetic acid was developed for positron emission tomography (PET) imaging. N-Acetyl cysteine (NAC) was conjugated to ATRIDAT as a specific targeting agent toward L-type and ASC amino acid transporter systems in the oncogenic cells. NAC was attached via S-alkylation to prevent its incorporation at undesired recognition sites affecting the signal-to-noise ratio. NAC-ATRIDAT was subjected to gallium-68 complexation with >75% radiolabeling yield. The radiocomplex was purified through the tc18 cartridge to obtain 99.89% radiochemical yield. IC-50 of the NAC-ATRIDAT conjugate was 0.8 mM in A549 cells as evaluated through 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazonium bromide assay. Binding affinity experiments on A549 cells showed noteworthy binding with KD in the nanomolar range. A time course study showed a Km value of 0.19 μM and Vmax value of 0.49 pmol/μg protein/min showing reasonable tumor kinetics. Efflux studies showed that the synthesized radioligand is transported majorly by LAT followed by the ASC system. Clearance was found to be renal with 7.67 ± 1.48% ID/g uptake at 30 min which substantially declined to 0.52 ± 0.% ID/g at 4 h. A significant uptake of 10.06 ± 1.056% ID/g was observed at the tumor site in mice at 1 h. μPET images revealed a high contrast with a tumor-to-kidney ratio of 4.8 and a tumor-to-liver ratio of 35.85 at 1 h after injection. These preclinical in vitro and in vivo evaluation supports its potential on the way of becoming a successful 68Ga-radiolabeled amino acid-based PET imaging agent.

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