One-step, kit-based radiopharmaceuticals for molecular SPECT imaging: a versatile diphosphine chelator for 99mTc radiolabelling of peptides

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Radiotracers labelled with technetium-99m (99mTc) enable accessible diagnostic imaging of disease, provided that radiotracer preparation is simple. Whilst 99mTc radiopharmaceuticals for imaging perfusion are routinely prepared from kits, and regularly used in healthcare, there are no 99mTc-labelled receptor-targeted radiopharmaceuticals in widespread clinical use. This is in part due to the multistep radiosyntheses required for the latter. We demonstrate that the diphosphine, 2,3-bis(diphenylphosphino)maleic anhydride (BMA), is an excellent platform for preparation of kit-based, receptor-targeted 99mTc-labelled radiotracers: its conjugates are simple to prepare and can be easily labelled with 99mTc using one-step, kit-based protocols. Here, reaction of BMA with the αvβ3-integrin receptor targeted cyclic peptide, Arg-Gly-Asp-DPhe-Lys (RGD), provided the first diphosphine-peptide conjugate, DP-RGD. DP-RGD was incorporated into a “kit”, and addition of a saline solution containing 99mTcO4- to this kit, followed by heating, furnished the radiotracer [99mTcO2(DP-RGD)2]+ in consistently high radiochemical yields (> 90%). The analogous [ReO2(DP-RGD)2]+ compound was prepared and characterised, revealing that both [99mTcO2(DP-RGD)2]+ and [ReO2(DP-RGD)2]+ consist of a mixture of cis and trans geometric isomers. Finally, [99mTcO2(DP-RGD)2]+ exhibited high metabolic stability, and selectively targeted αvβ3-integrin receptors, enabling in vivo SPECT imaging of αvβ3-integrin receptor expression in mice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16156-16165
Number of pages10
JournalDalton Transactions
Issue number44
Early online date15 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2021

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