A novel nitroreductase-enhanced MRI contrast agent and its potential application in bacterial imaging.
ABSTRACT: Nitroreductases (NTRs) are known to be able to metabolize nitro-substituted compounds in the presence of reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) as an electron donor. NTRs are present in a wide range of bacterial genera and, to a lesser extent, in eukaryotes hypoxic tumour cells and tumorous tissues, which makes it an appropriate biomarker for an imaging target to detect the hypoxic status of cancer cells and potential bacterial infections. To evaluate the specific activation level of NTR, great efforts have been devoted to the development of fluorescent probes to detect NTR activities using fluorogenic methods to probe its behaviour in a cellular context; however, NTR-responsive MRI contrast agents are still by far underexplored. In this study, para-nitrobenzyl substituted T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agent Gd-DOTA-PNB (probe 1) has been designed and explored for the possible detection of NTR. Our experimental results show that probe 1 could serve as an MRI-enhanced contrast agent for monitoring NTR activity. The in vitro response and mechanism of the NTR catalysed reduction of probe 1 have been investigated through LC-MS and MRI. Para-nitrobenzyl substituted probe 1 was catalytically reduced by NTR to the intermediate para-aminobenzyl substituted probe which then underwent a rearrangement elimination reaction to Gd-DOTA, generating the enhanced T1-weighted MR imaging. Further, LC-MS and MRI studies of living Escherichia coli have confirmed the NTR activity detection ability of probe 1 at a cellular level. This method may potentially be used for the diagnosis of bacterial infections.
Project description:The work describes the synthesis and in vivo application of [Gd(L)(H2O)]·xH2O, where L is a ((125)I/(127)I-RGD)- DOTA conjugate, as a tumor-targeting SPECT/MR bimodal imaging probe. Here, ((125)I/(127)I-RGD)-DOTA signifies a "cocktail mixture" of radioisotopic (1a, L = (125)I-RGD-DOTA) and natural (1b, L = (127)I-RGD-DOTA) Gd complexes. The two complexes are chemically equivalent as revealed by HPLC, and their cocktail mixture exhibits the integrin-specific tumor enhancement, demonstrating that they constitute essentially a single bimodal imaging probe. Employment of a cocktail mixture thus proves to be a sole and practical approach to overcome the sensitivity difference problem between MRI and SPECT.
Project description:Controlling the water exchange kinetics of macrocyclic Gd(3+) chelates, a key parameter in the design of improved magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast media, may be facilitated by selecting the coordination geometry of the chelate. The water exchange kinetics of the mono- capped twisted square antiprism (TSAP) being much closer to optimal than those of the mono capped square antiprism (SAP) render the TSAP isomer more desirable for high relaxivity applications. Two systems have been developed that allow for selection of the TSAP coordination geometry in 1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-1,4,7,10-tetraacetic acid (DOTA)-type Gd(3+) chelates, both based upon the macrocycle nitrobenzyl cyclen. In this paper we report investigations into the stability and formation of these chelates. Particular focus is given to the production of two regioisomeric chelates during the chelation reaction. These regioisomers are distinguished by having the nitrobenzyl substituent either on a corner or on the side of the macrocyclic ring. The origin of these two regioisomers appears to stem from a conformation of the ligand in solution in which it is hypothesized that pendant arms lie both above and below the plane of the macrocycle. The conformational changes that then result during the formation of the intermediate H(2)GdL(+) chelate give rise to differing positions of the nitrobenzyl substituent depending upon from which face of the macrocycle the Ln(3+) approaches the ligand.
Project description:We introduce a new category of nanoparticle-based T(1) MRI contrast agents (CAs) by encapsulating paramagnetic chelated gadolinium(III), i.e., Gd(3+)·DOTA, through supramolecular assembly of molecular building blocks that carry complementary molecular recognition motifs, including adamantane (Ad) and ?-cyclodextrin (CD). A small library of Gd(3+)·DOTA-encapsulated supramolecular nanoparticles (Gd(3+)·DOTA?SNPs) was produced by systematically altering the molecular building block mixing ratios. A broad spectrum of relaxation rates was correlated to the resulting Gd(3+)·DOTA?SNP library. Consequently, an optimal synthetic formulation of Gd(3+)·DOTA?SNPs with an r(1) of 17.3 s(-1) mM(-1) (ca. 4-fold higher than clinical Gd(3+) chelated complexes at high field strengths) was identified. T(1)-weighted imaging of Gd(3+)·DOTA?SNPs exhibits an enhanced sensitivity with a contrast-to-noise ratio (C/N ratio) ca. 3.6 times greater than that observed for free Gd(3+)·DTPA. A Gd(3+)·DOTA?SNPs solution was injected into foot pads of mice, and MRI was employed to monitor dynamic lymphatic drainage of the Gd(3+)·DOTA?SNPs-based CA. We observe an increase in signal intensity of the brachial lymph node in T(1)-weighted imaging after injecting Gd(3+)·DOTA?SNPs but not after injecting Gd(3+)·DTPA. The MRI results are supported by ICP-MS analysis ex vivo. These results show that Gd(3+)·DOTA?SNPs not only exhibits enhanced relaxivity and high sensitivity but also can serve as a potential tool for diagnosis of cancer metastasis.
Project description:Tissue hypoxia occurs in pathologic conditions, such as cancer, ischemic heart disease and stroke when oxygen demand is greater than oxygen supply. An imaging method that can differentiate hypoxic versus normoxic tissue could have an immediate impact on therapy choices. In this work, the gadolinium(III) complex of 1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-1,4,7,10-tetraacetic acid (DOTA) with a 2-nitroimidazole attached to one carboxyl group via an amide linkage was prepared, characterized and tested as a hypoxia-sensitive MRI agent. A control complex, Gd(DO3A-monobutylamide), was also prepared in order to test whether the nitroimidazole side-chain alters either the water proton T(1) relaxivity or the thermodynamic stability of the complex. The stabilities of these complexes were lower than that of Gd(DOTA)(-) as expected for mono-amide derivatives. The water proton T(1) relaxivity (r(1)), bound water residence lifetime (?(M)) and rotational correlation time (?(R)) of both complexes was determined by relaxivity measurements, variable temperature (17) O?NMR spectroscopy and proton nuclear magnetic relaxation dispersion (NMRD) studies. The resulting parameters (r(1) =6.38?mM(-1) ?s(-1) at 20?MHz, ?(M) =0.71??s, ?(R) =141?ps) determined for the nitroimidazole derivative closely parallel to those of other Gd(DO3A-monoamide) complexes of similar molecular size. In vitro MR imaging experiments with 9L rat glioma cells maintained under nitrogen (hypoxic) versus oxygen (normoxic) gas showed that both agents enter cells but only the nitroimidazole derivative was trapped in cells maintained under N(2) as evidenced by an approximately twofold decrease in T(1) measured for hypoxic cells versus normoxic cells exposed to this agent. These results suggest that the nitroimidazole derivative might serve as a molecular reporter for discriminating hypoxic versus normoxic tissues by MRI.
Project description:Herein we report the development of a turn-on lanthanide luminescent probe for time-gated detection of nitroreductases (NTRs) in live bacteria. The probe is activated through NTR-induced formation of the sensitizing carbostyril antenna and resulting energy transfer to the lanthanide center. This novel NTR-responsive trigger is virtually non-fluorescent in its inactivated form and features a large signal increase upon activation. We show that the probe is capable of selectively sensing NTR in lysates as well as in live bacteria of the ESKAPE family which are clinically highly relevant multiresistant pathogens responsible for the majority of hospital infections. The results suggest that our probe could be used to develop diagnostic tools for bacterial infections.
Project description:Bacterial nitroreductases (NTRs) have been widely utilized in the development of novel antibiotics, degradation of pollutants, and gene-directed enzyme prodrug therapy (GDEPT) of cancer that reached clinical trials. In case of GDEPT, since NTR is not naturally present in mammalian cells, the prodrug is activated selectively in NTR-transformed cancer cells, allowing high efficiency treatment of tumors. Currently, no bioluminescent probes exist for sensitive, non-invasive imaging of NTR expression. We therefore developed a "NTR caged luciferin" (NCL) probe that is selectively reduced by NTR, producing light proportional to the NTR activity. Here we report successful application of this probe for imaging of NTR in vitro, in bacteria and cancer cells, as well as in vivo in mouse models of bacterial infection and NTR-expressing tumor xenografts. This novel tool should significantly accelerate the development of cancer therapy approaches based on GDEPT and other fields where NTR expression is important.
Project description:Four gadolinium (Gd)-based macromolecular contrast agents, G3-(Gd-DOTA)(24), G5-(Gd-DOTA)(96), G3-(Gd-DTPA)(24), and G5-(Gd-DTPA)(96), were prepared that varied in the size of dendrimer (generation three and five), the type of chelate group (DTPA or DOTA), and the theoretical number of metalated chelates (24 and 96). Synthesis relied on a dichlorotriazine derivatized with a DOTA or DTPA ligand that was incorporated into the dendrimer and ultimately metalated with Gd ions. Paramagnetic characteristics and in vivo pharmacokinetics of all four contrast agents were investigated. The DOTA-containing agents, G3-(Gd-DOTA)(24) and G5-(Gd-DOTA)(96), demonstrated exceptionally high r1 relaxivity values at off-peak magnetic fields. Additionally, G5-(Gd-DOTA)(96) showed increased r1 relaxivity in serum compared to that in PBS, which was consistent with in vivo images. While G3-(Gd-DOTA)(24) and G3-(Gd-DTPA)(24) were rapidly excreted into the urine, G5-(Gd-DOTA)(96) and G5-(Gd-DTPA)(96) did not clear as quickly through the kidneys. Molecular simulation of the DOTA-containing dendrimers suggests that a majority of the metalated ligands are accessible to water. These triazine dendrimer-based MRI contrast agents exhibit several promising features such as high in vivo r1 relaxivity, desirable pharmacokinetics, and well-defined structure.
Project description:Non-invasive imaging and quantification of human beta cell mass remains a major challenge. We performed pre-clinical in vivo validation of a peptide previously discovered by our group, namely, P88 that targets a beta cell specific biomarker, FXYD2?a. We conjugated P88 with DOTA and then complexed it with GdCl? to obtain the MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) contrast agent (CA) Gd-DOTA-P88. A scrambled peptide was used as a negative control CA, namely Gd-DOTA-Scramble. The CAs were injected in immunodeficient mice implanted with EndoC-?H1 cells, a human beta cell line that expresses FXYD2?a similarly to primary human beta cells. The xenograft-bearing mice were analyzed by MRI. At the end, the mice were euthanized and the CA biodistribution was evaluated on the excised tissues by measuring the Gd concentration with inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The MRI and biodistribution studies indicated that Gd-DOTA-P88 accumulates in EndoC-?H1 xenografts above the level observed in the background tissue, and that its uptake is significantly higher than that observed for Gd-DOTA-Scramble. In addition, the Gd-DOTA-P88 showed good xenograft-to-muscle and xenograft-to-liver uptake ratios, two potential sites of human islets transplantation. The CA shows good potential for future use to non-invasively image implanted human beta cells.
Project description:Metastasis is the primary cause of death in breast cancer patients. Early detection of high-risk breast cancer, including micrometastasis, is critical in tailoring appropriate and effective interventional therapies. Increased fibronectin expression, a hallmark of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, is associated with high-risk breast cancer and metastasis. We have previously developed a penta-peptide CREKA (Cys-Arg-Glu-Lys-Ala)-targeted gadolinium-based magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agent, CREKA-Tris(Gd-DOTA)3 (Gd-DOTA (4,7,10-tris(carboxymethyl)-1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecyl gadolinium), which binds to fibrin-fibronectin complexes that are abundant in the tumour microenvironment of fast-growing breast cancer. Here we assess the capability of CREKA-Tris(Gd-DOTA)3 to detect micrometastasis with MRI in co-registration with high-resolution fluorescence cryo-imaging in female mice bearing metastatic 4T1 breast tumours. We find that CREKA-Tris(Gd-DOTA)3 provides robust contrast enhancement in the metastatic tumours and enables the detection of micrometastases of size <0.5?mm, extending the detection limit of the current clinical imaging modalities. These results demonstrate that molecular MRI with CREKA-Tris(Gd-DOTA)3 may facilitate early detection of high-risk breast cancer and micrometastasis in the clinic.
Project description:Dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for tracking glymphatic system transport with paramagnetic contrast such as gadoteric acid (Gd-DOTA) administration into cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) requires pre-contrast data for proper quantification. Here we introduce an alternative approach for glymphatic system quantification in the mouse brain via T1 mapping which also captures drainage of Gd-DOTA to the cervical lymph nodes. The Gd-DOTA injection into CSF was performed on the bench after which the mice underwent T1 mapping using a 3D spoiled gradient echo sequence on a 9.4 T MRI. In Ketamine/Xylazine (KX) anesthetized mice, glymphatic transport and drainage of Gd-DOTA to submandibular and deep cervical lymph nodes was demonstrated as 25-50% T1 reductions in comparison to control mice receiving CSF saline. To further validate the T1 mapping approach we also verified increased glymphatic transport of Gd-DOTA transport in mice anesthetized with KX in comparison with ISO. The novel T1 mapping method allows for quantification of glymphatic transport as well as drainage to the deep and superficial cervical lymph nodes. The ability to measure glymphatic transport and cervical lymph node drainage in the same animal longitudinally is advantageous and time efficient and the coupling between the two systems can be studied and translated to human studies.