64Cu-Labeled Phosphonate Cross-Bridged Chelator Conjugates of c(RGDyK) for PET/CT Imaging of Osteolytic Bone Metastases

Meltem Ocak, Wissam Beaino, Alexander White, Dexing Zeng, Zhengxin Cai, Carolyn J. Anderson

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8 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The goal of this research was to evaluate c(RGDyK) conjugated to phosphonate-based cross-bridged chelators using Cu-free click chemistry in the 4T1 mouse mammary tumor bone metastasis model in comparison with 64Cu-CB-TE2A-c(RGDyK), which previously showed selective binding to integrin αvβ3 on osteoclasts. Experimental: Two phosphonate-based cross-bridged chelators (CB-TE1A1P and CB-TE1K1P) were conjugated to c(RGDyK) through bio-orthogonal strain-promoted alkyne-azide cycloaddition. In vitro and in vivo evaluation of the 64Cu-labeled TE1A1P-DBCO-c(RGDyK) (AP-c(RGDyK)), TE1K1P-PEG4-DBCO-c(RGDyK) (KP-c(RGDyK)), and CB-TE2A-c(RGDyK) were compared in the 4T1 mouse model of bone metastasis. The affinities of the unconjugated and chelator-c(RGDyK) analogs for αvβ3 integrin were determined using a competitive-binding assay. For in vivo evaluation, BALB/c mice were injected with 1 × 105 4T1/Luc cells in the left ventricle. Formation of metastases was monitored by bioluminescence imaging (BLI) followed by small-animal PET/CT 2 h postinjection of radiotracers. Results: The chelator-peptide conjugates showed similar affinity to integrin αvβ3, in the low nM range. PET imaging demonstrated a higher uptake in bones having metastases for all 64Cu-labeled c(RGDyK) analogs compared with bones in nontumor-bearing mice. The correlation between uptake of 64Cu-AP-c(RGDyK) and 64Cu-KP-c(RGDyK) in bones with metastases based on PET/CT imaging, and osteoclast number based on histomorphometry, was improved over the previously investigated 64Cu-CB-TE2A-c(RGDyK). Conclusion: These data suggest that the phosphonate chelator conjugates of c(RDGyK) peptides are promising PET tracers suitable for imaging tumor-associated osteoclasts in bone metastases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-83
Number of pages10
JournalCancer Biotherapy and Radiopharmaceuticals
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • click chemistry
  • copper-64
  • osteoclast
  • αvβ3 integrin

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