King's College London

Research portal

Comparison of macrocyclic and acyclic chelators for gallium-68 radiolabelling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Maria Iris Tsionou, Caroline E. Knapp, Calum A. Foley, Catherine R. Munteanu, Andrew Cakebread, Cinzia Imberti, Thomas R. Eykyn, Jennifer D. Young, Brett M. Paterson, Philip J. Blower, Michelle T. Ma

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49586-49599
JournalRSC Advances
Issue number78
Accepted/In press6 Oct 2017
Published25 Oct 2017


King's Authors


Gallium-68 (68Ga) is a positron-emitting isotope used for clinical PET imaging of peptide receptor expression. 68Ga radiopharmaceuticals used in molecular PET imaging consist of disease-targeting biomolecules tethered to chelators that complex 68Ga3+. Ideally, the chelator will rapidly, quantitatively and stably coordinate 68Ga3+ at room temperature, near neutral pH and low chelator concentration, allowing for simple routine radiopharmaceutical formulation. Identification of chelators that fulfil these requirements will facilitate development of kit-based 68Ga radiopharmaceuticals. Herein the reaction of a range of widely used macrocyclic and acyclic chelators with 68Ga3+ is reported. Radiochemical yields have been measured under conditions of varying chelator concentrations, pH (3.5 and 6.5) and temperature (25 and 90 °C). These chelators are: 1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-1,4,7,10-tetraacetic acid (DOTA), 1,4,7-triazacyclononane-1,4,7-triacetic acid (NOTA), 1,4,7-triazacyclononane macrocycles substituted with phosphonic (NOTP) and phosphinic (TRAP) groups at the amine, bis(2-hydroxybenzyl)ethylenediaminediacetic acid (HBED), a tris(hydroxypyridinone) containing three 1,6-dimethyl-3-hydroxypyridin-4-one groups (THP) and the hexadentate tris(hydroxamate) siderophore desferrioxamine-B (DFO). Competition studies have also been undertaken to assess relative complexation efficiencies of each chelator for 68Ga3+ under different pH and temperature conditions. Performing radiolabelling reactions at pH 6.5, 25 °C and 5–50 μM chelator concentration resulted in near quantitative radiochemical yields for all chelators, except DOTA. Radiochemical yields either decreased or were not substantially improved when the reactions were undertaken at lower pH or at higher temperature, except in the case of DOTA. THP and DFO were the most effective 68Ga3+ chelators at near-neutral pH and 25 °C, rapidly providing near-quantitative radiochemical yields at very low chelator concentrations. NOTP and HBED were only slightly less effective under these conditions. In competition studies with all other chelators, THP demonstrated highest reactivity for 68Ga3+ complexation under all conditions. These data point to THP possessing ideal properties for rapid, one-step kit-based syntheses of 68Ga-biomolecules for molecular PET imaging. LC-MS and 1H, 13C{1H} and 71Ga NMR studies of HBED complexes of Ga3+ showed that under the analytical conditions employed in this study, multiple HBED-bound Ga complexes exist. X-ray diffraction data indicated that crystals isolated from these solutions contained octahedral [Ga(HBED)(H2O)], with HBED coordinated in a pentadentate N2O3 mode, with only one phenolic group coordinated to Ga3+, and the remaining coordination site occupied by a water molecule.

Download statistics

No data available

View graph of relations

© 2020 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454