Publications by authors named "Denis R Beckford Vera"

16 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

A very long-acting Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitor suppresses cancer cell growth in DNA repair-deficient tumor models.

Cancer Res 2020 Dec 15. Epub 2020 Dec 15.

ProLynx Inc

Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors are approved for treatment of cancers with BRCA1 or BRCA2 defects. In this study, we prepared and characterized a very long-acting PARP inhibitor. Synthesis of a macromolecular prodrug of talazoparib (TLZ) was achieved by covalent conjugation to a PEG40kDa carrier via a β-eliminative releasable linker. A single injection of the PEG~TLZ conjugate was as effective as ~30 daily oral doses of TLZ in growth suppression of homologous recombination-defective tumors in mouse xenografts. These included the KT-10 Wilms tumor with a PALB2 mutation, the BRCA1-deficient MX-1 triple-negative breast cancer, and the BRCA2-deficient DLD-1 colon cancer; the prodrug did not inhibit an isogenic DLD-1 tumor with wild-type BRCA2. Although the half-life of PEG~TLZ and released TLZ in the mouse was only ~1 day, the exposure of released TLZ from a single safe, effective dose of the prodrug exceeded that of oral TLZ given daily over one month. μPET/CT imaging showed high uptake and prolonged retention of an 89Zr-labeled surrogate of PEG~TLZ in the MX-1 BRCA1-deficient tumor. These data suggest that the long-lasting anti-tumor effect of the prodrug is due to a combination of its long t1/2, the high exposure of TLZ released from the prodrug, increased tumor sensitivity upon continued exposure, and tumor accumulation. Using pharmacokinetic parameters of TLZ in humans, we designed a long-acting PEG~TLZ for humans that may be superior in efficacy to daily oral TLZ and would be useful for treatment of PARP inhibitor-sensitive cancers in which oral medications are not tolerated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-20-1741DOI Listing
December 2020

Molecular Imaging of Prostate Cancer Targeting CD46 Using ImmunoPET.

Clin Cancer Res 2021 Mar 8;27(5):1305-1315. Epub 2020 Dec 8.

Department of Radiology and Medical Imaging, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia.

Purpose: We recently identified CD46 as a novel therapeutic target in prostate cancer. In this study, we developed a CD46-targeted PET radiopharmaceutical, [Zr]DFO-YS5, and evaluated its performance for immunoPET imaging in murine prostate cancer models.

Experimental Design: [Zr]DFO-YS5 was prepared and its binding affinity for CD46 was measured. ImmunoPET imaging was conducted in male athymic nu/nu mice bearing DU145 [AR, CD46, prostate-specific membrane antigen-negative (PSMA)] or 22Rv1 (AR, CD46, PSMA) tumors, and in NOD/SCID gamma mice bearing patient-derived adenocarcinoma xenograft, LTL-331, and neuroendocrine prostate cancers, LTL-331R and LTL-545.

Results: [Zr]DFO-YS5 binds specifically to the CD46-positive human prostate cancer DU145 and 22Rv1 xenografts. In biodistribution studies, the tumor uptake of [Zr]DFO-YS5 was 13.3 ± 3.9 and 11.2 ± 2.5 %ID/g, respectively, in DU145 and 22Rv1 xenografts, 4 days postinjection. Notably, [Zr]DFO-YS5 demonstrated specific uptake in the PSMA- and AR-negative DU145 model. [Zr]DFO-YS5 also showed uptake in the patient-derived LTL-331 and -331R models, with particularly high uptake in the LTL-545 neuroendocrine prostate cancer tumors (18.8 ± 5.3, 12.5 ± 1.8, and 32 ± 5.3 %ID/g in LTL-331, LTL-331R, and LTL-545, respectively, at 4 days postinjection).

Conclusions: [Zr]DFO-YS5 is an excellent PET imaging agent across a panel of prostate cancer models, including in both adenocarcinoma and neuroendocrine prostate cancer, both cell line- and patient-derived xenografts, and both PSMA-positive and -negative tumors. It demonstrates potential for clinical translation as an imaging agent, theranostic platform, and companion biomarker in prostate cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-20-3310DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7925362PMC
March 2021

PET Imaging of the EPR Effect in Tumor Xenografts Using Small 15 nm Diameter Polyethylene Glycols Labeled with Zirconium-89.

Mol Cancer Ther 2020 02 19;19(2):673-679. Epub 2019 Nov 19.

ProLynx, San Francisco, California.

The goal was to develop and characterize a companion diagnostic for the releasable PEG∼SN-38 oncology drug, PLX038, that would identify tumors susceptible to high accumulation of PLX038. PEG conjugates of the zirconium ligand desferroxamine B (DFB) of similar size and charge to PLX038 were prepared that contained one or four DFB, as well as one that contained three SN-38 moieties and one DFB. Uptake and associated kinetic parameters of the Zr-labeled nanocarriers were determined in tumor and normal tissues in mice using μPET/CT imaging. The data were fit to physiologically based pharmacokinetic models to simulate the mass-time profiles of distribution of conjugates in the tissues of interest. The time-activity curves for normal tissues showed high levels at the earliest time of measurement due to vascularization, followed by a monophasic loss. In tumors, levels were initially lower than in normal tissues but increased to 9% to 14% of injected dose over several days. The efflux half-life in tumors was very long, approximately 400 hours, and tumor levels remained at about 10% injected dose 9 days after injection. Compared with diagnostic liposomes, the PEG nanocarriers have a longer serum half-life, are retained in tumors at higher levels, remain there longer, and afford higher tumor exposure. The small PEG nanocarriers studied here show properties for passive targeting of tumors that are superior than most nanoparticles and might be effective probes to identify tumors susceptible to similar size therapeutic nanocarriers such as PLX038.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-19-0709DOI Listing
February 2020

Synthesis and Initial Biological Evaluation of Boron-Containing Prostate-Specific Membrane Antigen Ligands for Treatment of Prostate Cancer Using Boron Neutron Capture Therapy.

Mol Pharm 2019 09 16;16(9):3831-3841. Epub 2019 Aug 16.

Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging , University of California , San Francisco , California , United States.

Boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) is a therapeutic modality which has been used for the treatment of cancers, including brain and head and neck tumors. For effective treatment via BNCT, efficient and selective delivery of a high boron dose to cancer cells is needed. Prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) is a target for prostate cancer imaging and drug delivery. In this study, we conjugated boronic acid or carborane functional groups to a well-established PSMA inhibitor scaffold to deliver boron to prostate cancer cells and prostate tumor xenograft models. Eight boron-containing PSMA inhibitors were synthesized. All of these compounds showed a strong binding affinity to PSMA in a competition radioligand binding assay (IC from 555.7 to 20.3 nM). Three selected compounds , , and were administered to mice, and their blocking of Ga-PSMA-11 uptake was demonstrated through a positron emission tomography (PET) imaging and biodistribution experiment. Biodistribution analysis demonstrated boron uptake of 4-7 μg/g in 22Rv1 prostate xenograft tumors and similar tumor/muscle ratios compared to the ratio for the most commonly used BNCT compound, 4-borono-l-phenylalanine (BPA). Taken together, these data suggest a potential role for PSMA targeted BNCT agents in prostate cancer therapy following suitable optimization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.molpharmaceut.9b00464DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6722010PMC
September 2019

PET/CT Imaging of Human TNFα Using [Zr]Certolizumab Pegol in a Transgenic Preclinical Model of Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Mol Imaging Biol 2020 02;22(1):105-114

Department of Radiology and Molecular Imaging, University of California San Francisco, 185 Berry St., Suite 350, San Francisco, CA, 94107, USA.

Purpose: Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) drives inflammation and bone degradation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Some RA patients experience a rapid clinical response to TNFα inhibitors such as certolizumab pegol (CZP) while other patients show limited to no response. Current methods for imaging RA have limited sensitivity and do not assist in the selection of patients most likely to respond to immune-mediated therapy. Herein, we developed a novel positron emission tomography (PET) radiotracer for immuno-PET imaging of TNFα in transgenic human TNFα-expressing mice.

Procedures: CZP was modified with p-isothiocyanatobenzyl-deferoxamine (DFO) and radiolabeled with Zr-89. The biological activity of [Zr]DFO-CZP was evaluated by HPLC and binding assay using human recombinant TNFα (hTNFα). The feasibility of specific immuno-PET imaging of human TNFα was assessed in a transgenic mouse model of RA that expresses human TNFα. This model resembles the progression of RA in humans by maintaining lower levels of circulating hTNFα and exhibits chronic arthritis in the forepaw and hind paw joints. The dosimetry of [Zr]DFO-CZP in humans was estimated using microPET/CT imaging in Sprague Dawley rats.

Results: [Zr]DFO-CZP was isolated with radiolabeling yields of 85 ± 6 % (n = 5) and specific activities ranging from 74 to 185 MBq/mg (n = 5). Following size exclusion purification, the radiochemical purity of [Zr]DFO-CZP was greater than 97 %. [Zr]DFO-CZP retained high immunoreactivity with more than 95 % of the radioactivity shifted into higher molecular weight complexes. Images showed increasing uptake of the tracer in forepaw and hind paw joints with disease progression. No uptake was observed in the model previously administered with an excess amount of unmodified CZP and in normal control mice, demonstrating in vivo specific uptake of [Zr]DFO-CZP.

Conclusion: The feasibility of immuno-PET imaging of human TNFα with [Zr]DFO-CZP has been demonstrated in a preclinical model of RA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11307-019-01363-0DOI Listing
February 2020

Synthesis and Characterization of Cetuximab-Docetaxel and Panitumumab-Docetaxel Antibody-Drug Conjugates for EGFR-Overexpressing Cancer Therapy.

Mol Pharm 2018 11 1;15(11):5089-5102. Epub 2018 Oct 1.

Department of Radiology, Biomedical Research Imaging Center , University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill , Marsico Hall, 125 Mason Farm Road , Chapel Hill , North Carolina 27599 , United States.

The safety and efficacy of anticancer antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) depend on the selection of tumor-targeting monoclonal antibody (mAb), linker, and drug, as well as their specific chemical arrangement and linkage chemistry. In this study, we used a heterobifunctional cross-linker to conjugate docetaxel (DX) to cetuximab (CET) or panitumumab (PAN). The resulting ADCs were investigated for their in vitro EGFR-specific cytotoxicity and in vivo anticancer activity. Reaction conditions, such as reducing agent, time, temperature, and alkylation buffer, were optimized to yield potent and stable ADCs with consistent batch-to-batch drug-to-antibody ratios (DARs). ADCs were synthesized with DARs from 0.4 to 3.0, and all retained their EGFR affinity and specificity after modification. ADCs were sensitive to cell surface wildtype EGFR expression, demonstrating more cytotoxicity in EGFR-expressing A431 and MDA-MB-231 cell lines compared to U87MG cells. A431 tumor-bearing mice treated once weekly for four weeks with 100 mg/kg cetuximab-docetaxel ADC (C-SC-DX, DAR 2.5) showed durable anticancer responses and improved overall survival compared to the same treatment regimen with 1 mg/kg DX, 100 mg/kg CET, or a combination 1 mg/kg DX and 100 mg/kg CET. New treatment options are emerging for patients with both wild-type and mutated EGFR-overexpressing cancers, and these studies highlight the potential role of EGFR-targeted ADC therapies as a promising new treatment option.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.molpharmaceut.8b00672DOI Listing
November 2018

Immuno-PET imaging of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes using zirconium-89 radiolabeled anti-CD3 antibody in immune-competent mice bearing syngeneic tumors.

PLoS One 2018 7;13(3):e0193832. Epub 2018 Mar 7.

Department of Radiology and Biomedical Research Imaging Center University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Marsico Hall, Chapel Hill, NC, United States of America.

The ability to non-invasively monitor tumor-infiltrating T cells in vivo could provide a powerful tool to visualize and quantify tumor immune infiltrates. For non-invasive evaluations in vivo, an anti-CD3 mAb was modified with desferrioxamine (DFO) and radiolabeled with zirconium-89 (Zr-89 or 89Zr). Radiolabeled 89Zr-DFO-anti-CD3 was tested for T cell detection using positron emission tomography (PET) in both healthy mice and mice bearing syngeneic bladder cancer BBN975. In vivo PET/CT and ex vivo biodistribution demonstrated preferential accumulation and visualization of tracer in the spleen, thymus, lymph nodes, and bone marrow. In tumor bearing mice, 89Zr-DFO-anti-CD3 demonstrated an 11.5-fold increase in tumor-to-blood signal compared to isotype control. Immunological profiling demonstrated no significant change to total T cell count, but observed CD4+ T cell depletion and CD8+ T cell expansion to the central and effector memory. This was very encouraging since a high CD8+ to CD4+ T cell ratio has already been associated with better patient prognosis. Ultimately, this anti-CD3 mAb allowed for in vivo imaging of homeostatic T cell distribution, and more specifically tumor-infiltrating T cells. Future applications of this radiolabeled mAb against CD3 could include prediction and monitoring of patient response to immunotherapy.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0193832PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5841805PMC
June 2018

Rapid microwave-assisted synthesis of sub-30nm lipid nanoparticles.

J Colloid Interface Sci 2017 Feb 2;488:240-245. Epub 2016 Nov 2.

Biomedical Research Imaging Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC, United States; Department of Radiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC, United States; The Carolina Institute for Nanomedicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC, United States. Electronic address:

Hypothesis: Accessing the phase inversion temperature by microwave heating may enable the rapid synthesis of small lipid nanoparticles.

Experiments: Nanoparticle formulations consisted of surfactants Brij 78 and Vitamin E TPGS, and trilaurin, trimyristin, or miglyol 812 as nanoparticle lipid cores. Each formulation was placed in water and heated by microwave irradiation at temperatures ranging from 65°C to 245°C. We observed a phase inversion temperature (PIT) for these formulations based on a dramatic decrease in particle Z-average diameters. Subsequently, nanoparticles were manufactured above and below the PIT and studied for (a) stability toward dilution, (b) stability over time, (c) fabrication as a function of reaction time, and (d) transmittance of lipid nanoparticle dispersions.

Findings: Lipid-based nanoparticles with distinct sizes down to 20-30nm and low polydispersity could be attained by a simple, one-pot microwave synthesis. This was carried out by accessing the phase inversion temperature using microwave heating. Nanoparticles could be synthesized in just one minute and select compositions demonstrated high stability. The notable stability of these particles may be explained by the combination of van der Waals interactions and steric repulsion. 20-30nm nanoparticles were found to be optically transparent.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcis.2016.10.093DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5153442PMC
February 2017

The Interplay of Antigen Affinity, Internalization, and Pharmacokinetics on CD44-Positive Tumor Targeting of Monoclonal Antibodies.

Mol Pharm 2016 06 28;13(6):1894-903. Epub 2016 Apr 28.

Division of Molecular Pharmaceutics, UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill , Marsico Hall, 125 Mason Farm Road, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599, United States.

Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) offer promise as effective tumor targeting and drug delivery agents for cancer therapy. However, comparative biological and clinical characteristics of mAbs targeting the same tumor-associated antigen (TAA) often differ widely. This study examined the characteristics of mAbs that impact tumor targeting using a panel of mAb clones specific to the cancer-associated cell-surface receptor and cancer stem cell marker CD44. CD44 mAbs were screened for cell-surface binding, antigen affinity, internalization, and CD44-mediated tumor uptake by CD44-positive A549 cells. It was hypothesized that high-affinity, rapidly internalizing CD44 mAbs would result in high tumor uptake and prolonged tumor retention. Although high-affinity clones rapidly bound and were internalized by A549 cells in vitro, an intermediate-affinity clone demonstrated significantly greater tumor uptake and retention than high-affinity clones in vivo. Systemic exposure, rather than high antigen affinity or rapid internalization, best associated with tumor targeting of CD44 mAbs in A549 tumor-bearing mice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.molpharmaceut.6b00063DOI Listing
June 2016

Fluorous Analogue of Chloramine-T: Preparation, X-ray Structure Determination, and Use as an Oxidant for Radioiodination and s-Tetrazine Synthesis.

J Org Chem 2015 Jul 24;80(14):7117-25. Epub 2015 Jun 24.

§Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Tanta University, Tanta, 31527 Egypt.

A fluorous oxidant that can be used to introduce radioiodine into small molecules and proteins and generate iodinated tetrazines for bioorthogonal chemistry has been developed. The oxidant was prepared in 87% overall yield by combining a fluorous amine with tosyl chloride, followed by chlorination using aqueous sodium hypochlorite. A crystal structure of the oxidant, which is a fluorous analogue of chloramine-T, was obtained. The compound was shown to be stable for 7 days in EtOH and for longer than three months as a solid. The oxidant was effective at promoting the labeling of arylstannanes using [(125)I]NaI, where products were isolated in high specific activity in yields ranging from 46% to 86%. Similarly, iodinated biologically active proteins (e.g., thrombin) were successfully produced, as well as a radioiodinated tetrazine, through a concomitant oxidation-halodemetalation reaction. Because of its fluorous nature, unreacted oxidant and associated reaction byproducts can be removed quantitatively from reaction mixtures by passing solutions through fluorous solid phase extraction cartridges. This feature enables rapid and facile purification, which is critical when working with radionuclides and is similarly beneficial for general synthetic applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.joc.5b00988DOI Listing
July 2015

A hybrid solid-fluorous phase radioiodination and purification platform.

J Labelled Comp Radiopharm 2014 Jul 28;57(9):551-7. Epub 2014 Jul 28.

Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, L8S 4M1, Canada.

A new class of fluorous materials was developed to create a hybrid solid-solution phase strategy for the expedient preparation and HPLC-free purification of (125) I-labeled compounds. The system is referred to as a hybrid platform in that it combines solution phase labeling and fluorous solid-phase purification in one step as opposed to two separate individual processes. Treatment of fluorous arylstannanes coated on fluorous silica with [(125) I]NaI and the appropriate oxidant made it possible to produce and selectively isolate the nonfluorous radiolabeled products in high purity (>98%) free from excess starting material and unreacted radioiodine. Examples included simple aryl and heterocyclic (click) derivatives, known radiopharmaceuticals including meta-iodobenzylguanidine (MIBG) and iododeoxyuridine (IUdR), and a new agent with high affinity for prostate-specific membrane antigen. The coated fluorous silica kits are simple to prepare, and reactions can be performed at room temperature using different oxidants generating products in minutes in biocompatible solutions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jlcr.3214DOI Listing
July 2014

Preparation and evaluation of carborane-derived inhibitors of prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA).

Dalton Trans 2014 Apr;43(13):4950-61

Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, McMaster University, 1280 Main St. West, Hamilton, Ont., CanadaL8S 4M1.

A series of C-hydroxy carborane derivatives of (S)-2-(3-((S)-5-amino-1-carboxypentyl)ureido)-pentanedioic acid were prepared as a new class of boron rich inhibitors of prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA), which is overexpressed on prostate cancer tumours and metastases. Closo-, nido- and iodo-carborane conjugates were prepared and screened in vitro where the water soluble iodinated cluster had the highest affinity with an IC50 value (73.2 nM) that was comparable to a known PSMA inhibitor 2-(phosphonomethyl)-pentanedioic acid (PMPA, 63.9 nM). The radiolabeled analogue was prepared using (123)I and the biodistribution determined in a prostate cancer model derived from a PSMA positive cell line (LNCaP) at 1, 2, 4, 6 and 24 h post injection (n = 4 per time point). The results showed good initial tumour uptake of 4.17% at 1 h, which remained at that level only decreasing somewhat at 6 h (3.59%). At the latter time point tumour-to-blood and tumour-to-muscle ratios peaked at 3.47 at 25.52 respectively. There was significant off-target binding particularly in the liver and gall bladder and a surprising amount of deiodination in vivo. Notwithstanding, this work demonstrates that carboranes can be used to prepare potent ligands for PSMA creating the opportunity to develop a new class of BNCT agents for prostate cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c3dt53189aDOI Listing
April 2014

(177)Lu/ (90)Y intermediate-affinity monoclonal antibodies targeting EGFR and HER2/c-neu: preparation and preclinical evaluation.

Recent Results Cancer Res 2013 ;194:301-17

Department of Radiopharmaceuticals, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague, Czech Republic.

The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is a rational target of anticancer therapies due to its overexpression in a variety of malignant epithelial tumors. Nevertheless, this antigen is also present in normal tissues. Consequently, monoclonal antibodies which selectively bind to EGFR-overexpressing tumors will be choice drug candidates for development of radioimmunoconjugates (RIC). Nimotuzumab (h-R3) and trastuzumab are monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) which would preferentially target tissues with EGFR and HER2 overexpression, respectively. In this chapter, we describe preparation and evaluation of the targeting properties of RIC formed by (177)Lu/(90)Y and monoclonal antibodies which selectively target EGFR- and HER2/c-neu-overexpressing tissues. mAbs were labeled with n.c.a. (177)Lu/(90)Y using bifunctional chelating agents. RIC binding properties and toxicity were evaluated in vitro using cell lines with varying antigen expression. In vivo tumor targeting properties of RIC were evaluated in mice bearing colorectal (SNU-C2B) and A431 tumor xenografts. RICs were prepared with specific activities up to 2 GBq/mg without significant loss in biological activity. (90)Y-h-R3/trastuzumab increased cell growth inhibition compared with unmodified mAbs or (90)YCl(3) alone in cell lines with overexpression of the target antigen. (177)Lu-h-R3 showed significantly higher uptake in A431 (22.8 ± 3.1% ID/g) than in SNU-C2B (8.8 ± 4.1% ID/g) xenografts at 72 h post injection, indicating strong association between tumor uptake and EGFR expression levels.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27994-2_16DOI Listing
June 2013

Measurement of protein synthesis: in vitro comparison of (68)Ga-DOTA-puromycin, [ (3)H]tyrosine, and 2-fluoro-[ (3)H]tyrosine.

Recent Results Cancer Res 2013 ;194:269-83

Department of Radiopharmaceuticals, Academic of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Rez, Czech Republic.

Aim: Puromycin has played an important role in our understanding of the eukaryotic ribosome and protein synthesis. It has been known for more than 40 years that this antibiotic is a universal protein synthesis inhibitor that acts as a structural analog of an aminoacyl-transfer RNA (aa-tRNA) in eukaryotic ribosomes. Due to the role of enzymes and their synthesis in situations of need (DNA damage, e.g., after chemo- or radiation therapy), determination of protein synthesis is important for control of antitumor therapy, to enhance long-term survival of tumor patients, and to minimize side-effects of therapy. Multiple attempts to reach this goal have been made through the last decades, mostly using radiolabeled amino acids, with limited or unsatisfactory success. The aim of this study is to estimate the possibility of determining protein synthesis ratios by using (68)Ga-DOTA-puromycin ((68)Ga-DOTA-Pur), [(3)H]tyrosine, and 2-fluoro-[(3)H]tyrosine and to estimate the possibility of different pathways due to the fluorination of tyrosine.

Methods: DOTA-puromycin was synthesized using a puromycin-tethered controlled-pore glass (CPG) support by the usual protocol for automated DNA and RNA synthesis following our design. (68)Ga was obtained from a (68)Ge/(68)Ga generator as described previously by Zhernosekov et al. (J Nucl Med 48:1741-1748, 2007). The purified eluate was used for labeling of DOTA-puromycin at 95°C for 20 min. [(3)H]Tyrosine and 2-fluoro-[(3)H]tyrosine of the highest purity available were purchased from Moravek (Bera, USA) or Amersham Biosciences (Hammersmith, UK). In vitro uptake and protein incorporation as well as in vitro inhibition experiments using cycloheximide to inhibit protein synthesis were carried out for all three substances in DU145 prostate carcinoma cells (ATCC, USA). (68)Ga-DOTA-Pur was additionally used for μPET imaging of Walker carcinomas and AT1 tumors in rats. Dynamic scans were performed for 45 min after IV application (tail vein) of 20-25 MBq (68)Ga-DOTA-Pur.

Results: No significant differences in the behavior of [(3)H]tyrosine and 2-fluoro-[(3)H]tyrosine were observed. Uptake of both tyrosine derivatives was decreased by inhibition of protein synthesis, but only to a level of 45-55% of initial uptake, indicating no direct link between tyrosine uptake and protein synthesis. In contrast, (68)Ga-DOTA-Pur uptake was directly linked to ribosomal activity and, therefore, to protein synthesis. (68)Ga-DOTA-Pur μPET imaging in rats revealed high tumor-to-background ratios and clearly defined regions of interest in the investigated tumors.

Summary: Whereas the metabolic pathway of (68)Ga-DOTA-Pur is directly connected with the process of protein synthesis and shows high tumor uptake during μPET imaging, neither [(3)H]tyrosine nor 2-fluoro-[(3)H]tyrosine can be considered useful for determination of protein synthesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27994-2_14DOI Listing
June 2013

Imaging of protein synthesis: in vitro and in vivo evaluation of (44)Sc-DOTA-puromycin.

Mol Imaging Biol 2013 Feb;15(1):79-86

Nuclear Physics Institute, Department of Radiopharmaceuticals, Academy of Science of the Czech Republic, Husinec-Rez 289, 25068 Husinec-Rez, Czech Republic.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate whether (44)Sc-labeled puromycin can be utilized for imaging of protein synthesis in vivo.

Methods: For micro-positron emission tomographic (μPET) studies, 20-25 MBq of [(44)Sc]-DOTA-puromycin was administered to tumor-bearing rats, and animals were scanned for 1 h dynamically. Results were further validated by dissecting organs and tissues of the animals after the measurement and in vitro blocking experiments using puromycin or cycloheximide to block protein synthesis.

Results: μPET images of tumor-bearing rats showed significant tumor uptake of [(44)Sc]-DOTA-puromycin and a clear-cut tumor visualization. In both blocking experiments, cellular uptake of [(44)Sc]-DOTA-puromycin ([(44)Sc]-DOTA-Pur) could be suppressed by blocking protein synthesis.

Conclusions: We report for the first time successful μPET imaging with (44)Sc obtained from a (44)Ti/(44)Sc generator, as well as noninvasive μPET imaging of ribosomal activity, respectively protein synthesis, with a puromycin-based radiopharmaceutical and the direct correlation between cellular uptake of [(44)Sc]-DOTA-Pur and protein synthesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11307-012-0561-3DOI Listing
February 2013

Preparation and preclinical evaluation of 177Lu-nimotuzumab targeting epidermal growth factor receptor overexpressing tumors.

Nucl Med Biol 2012 Jan 29;39(1):3-13. Epub 2011 Sep 29.

Department of Radiopharmaceuticals, Nuclear Physics Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Husinec-Rez 130, CZ-250 68, Husinec-Rez, Czech Republic.

Objectives: Nimotuzumab (h-R3) is a humanized monoclonal antibody (mAb) which recognizes the external domain of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) with high specificity. It was demonstrated that h-R3 has a unique clinical profile for immunotherapy of adult gliomas and pediatric pontine gliomas. The aim of this work was to evaluate the conjugate (177)Lu-h-R3 as a potential radioimmunoconjugate for radioimmunotherapy (RIT) of tumors overexpressing EGFR.

Methods: h-R3 was modified with the macrocylcic ligand S-2-(4-isothiocyanatobenzyl)-1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane tetraacetic acid (p-SCN-Bn-DOTA) and the acyclic ligand S-2-(4-Isothiocyanatobenzyl)-diethylenetriamine pentaacetic acid (p-SCN-Bn-DTPA); the immunoconjugates were labeled with no-carried added (177)Lu. Specificity and affinity were tested using radioimmunoassays in a cell line overexpressing EGFR. Biodistribution in mice, healthy or bearing A431 epithelial carcinoma xenografts, was performed for 11 days. Tumor uptake, the influence of the nature of the chelate and the way of administration were studied. Absorbed dose in tumor and selected organs was calculated using the OLINDA/EXM software; the data from the animals was extrapolated to humans.

Results: (177)Lu-h-R3 conjugates were obtained with specific activity up to 915 MBq/mg without significant loss of immunoreactivity. The binding of (177)Lu-h-R3 conjugates to A431 cells showed to be EGFR specific, and the affinity was similar to native h-R3. Tumor uptake reached a maximum value of 22.4±3.1 %ID/g at 72 h and remained ~20% ID/g over 1 week. Locoregional application showed better tumor/nontumor ratios than intravenous application.

Conclusions: (177)Lu-h-R3 should be considered for further evaluations as a potential radiopharmaceutical for RIT of tumors overexpressing EGFR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nucmedbio.2011.07.001DOI Listing
January 2012