Design, synthesis, and biological evaluation of a multifunctional neuropeptide-Y conjugate for selective nuclear delivery of radiolanthanides.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Targeting G protein-coupled receptors on the surface of cancer cells with peptide ligands is a promising concept for the selective tumor delivery of therapeutically active cargos, including radiometals for targeted radionuclide therapy (TRT). Recently, the radiolanthanide terbium-161 (161Tb) gained significant interest for TRT application, since it decays with medium-energy ?-radiation but also emits a significant amount of conversion and Auger electrons with short tissue penetration range. The therapeutic efficiency of radiometals emitting Auger electrons, like 161Tb, can therefore be highly boosted by an additional subcellular delivery into the nucleus, in order to facilitate maximum dose deposition to the DNA. In this study, we describe the design of a multifunctional, radiolabeled neuropeptide-Y (NPY) conjugate, to address radiolanthanides to the nucleus of cells naturally overexpressing the human Y1 receptor (hY1R). By using solid-phase peptide synthesis, the hY1R-preferring [F7,P34]-NPY was modified with a fatty acid, a cathepsin B-cleavable linker, followed by a nuclear localization sequence (NLS), and a DOTA chelator (compound pb12). In this proof-of-concept study, labeling was performed with either native terbium-159 (natTb), as surrogate for 161Tb, or with indium-111 (111In). RESULTS:[natTb]Tb-pb12 showed a preserved high binding affinity to endogenous hY1R on MCF-7 cells and was able to induce receptor activation and internalization similar to the hY1R-preferring [F7,P34]-NPY. Specific internalization of the 111In-labeled conjugate into MCF-7 cells was observed, and importantly, time-dependent nuclear uptake of 111In was demonstrated. Study of metabolic stability showed that the peptide is insufficiently stable in human plasma. This was confirmed by injection of [111In]In-pb12 in nude mice bearing MCF-7 xenograft which showed specific uptake only at very early time point. CONCLUSION:The multifunctional NPY conjugate with a releasable DOTA-NLS unit represents a promising concept for enhanced TRT with Auger electron-emitting radiolanthanides. Our research is now focusing on improving the reported concept with respect to the poor plasmatic stability of this promising radiopeptide.
Project description:Brain metastases develop frequently in patients with breast cancer, and present a pressing therapeutic challenge. Expression of vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1) is upregulated on brain endothelial cells during the early stages of metastasis and provides a target for the detection and treatment of early brain metastases. The aim of this study was to use a model of early brain metastasis to evaluate the efficacy of ?-emitting radionuclides, 149Tb, 211At, 212Pb, 213Bi and 225Ac; ?-emitting radionuclides, 90Y, 161Tb and 177Lu; and Auger electron (AE)-emitters 67Ga, 89Zr, 111In and 124I, for targeted radionuclide therapy (TRT).Histologic sections and two photon microscopy of mouse brain parenchyma were used to inform a cylindrical vessel geometry using the Geant4 general purpose Monte Carlo (MC) toolkit with the Geant4-DNA low energy physics models. Energy deposition was evaluated as a radial function and the resulting phase spaces were superimposed on a DNA model to estimate double-strand break (DSB) yields for representative ?- and ?-emitters, 177Lu and 212Pb. Relative biological effectiveness (RBE) values were determined by only evaluating DNA damage due to physical interactions.177Lu produced 2.69 ± 0.08 DSB per GbpGy, without significant variation from the lumen of the vessel to a radius of 100 µm. The DSB yield of 212Pb included two local maxima produced by the 6.1 MeV and 8.8 MeV ?-emissions from decay products, 212Bi and 212Po, with yields of 7.64 ± 0.12 and 9.15 ± 0.24 per GbpGy, respectively. Given its higher DSB yield 212Pb may be more effective for short range targeting of early micrometastatic lesions than 177Lu.MC simulation of a model of early brain metastases provides invaluable insight into the potential efficacy of ?-, ?- and AE-emitting radionuclides for TRT. 212Pb, which has the attributes of a theranostic radionuclide since it can be used for SPECT imaging, showed a favorable dose profile and RBE.
Project description:BACKGROUND:161Tb is an interesting radionuclide for cancer treatment, showing similar decay characteristics and chemical behavior to clinically-employed 177Lu. The therapeutic effect of 161Tb, however, may be enhanced due to the co-emission of a larger number of conversion and Auger electrons as compared to 177Lu. The aim of this study was to produce 161Tb from enriched 160Gd targets in quantity and quality sufficient for first application in patients. METHODS:No-carrier-added 161Tb was produced by neutron irradiation of enriched 160Gd targets at nuclear research reactors. The 161Tb purification method was developed with the use of cation exchange (Sykam resin) and extraction chromatography (LN3 resin), respectively. The resultant product (161TbCl3) was characterized and the 161Tb purity compared with commercial 177LuCl3. The purity of the final product (161TbCl3) was analyzed by means of ?-ray spectrometry (radionuclidic purity) and radio TLC (radiochemical purity). The radiolabeling yield of 161Tb-DOTA was assessed over a two-week period post processing in order to observe the quality change of the obtained 161Tb towards future clinical application. To understand how the possible drug products (peptides radiolabeled with 161Tb) vary with time, stability of the clinically-applied somatostatin analogue DOTATOC, radiolabeled with 161Tb, was investigated over a 24-h period. The radiolytic stability experiments were compared to those performed with 177Lu-DOTATOC in order to investigate the possible influence of conversion and Auger electrons of 161Tb on peptide disintegration. RESULTS:Irradiations of enriched 160Gd targets yielded 6-20?GBq 161Tb. The final product was obtained at an activity concentration of 11-21?MBq/?L with ?99% radionuclidic and radiochemical purity. The DOTA chelator was radiolabeled with 161Tb or 177Lu at the molar activity deemed useful for clinical application, even at the two-week time point after end of chemical separation. DOTATOC, radiolabeled with either 161Tb or 177Lu, was stable over 24?h in the presence of a stabilizer. CONCLUSIONS:In this study, it was shown that 161Tb can be produced in high activities using different irradiation facilities. The developed method for 161Tb separation from the target material yielded 161TbCl3 in quality suitable for high-specific radiolabeling, relevant for future clinical application.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:PPAR?/? dual agonists have been in clinical development for the treatment of metabolic diseases including type 2 diabetes and dyslipidemia. However, severe adverse side effects led to complications in clinical trials. As most of the beneficial effects rely on the compound activity in adipocytes, the selective targeting of this cell type is a cutting-edge strategy to develop safe anti-diabetic drugs. The goal of this study was to strengthen the adipocyte-specific uptake of the PPAR?/? agonist tesaglitazar via NPY1R-mediated internalization. METHODS:NPY1R-preferring peptide tesaglitazar-[F7, P34]-NPY (tesa-NPY) was synthesized by a combination of automated SPPS and manual couplings. Following molecular and functional analyses for proof of concept, cell culture experiments were conducted to monitor the effects on adipogenesis. Mice treated with peptide drug conjugates or vehicle either by gavage or intraperitoneal injection were characterized phenotypically and metabolically. Histological analysis and transcriptional profiling of the adipose tissue were performed. RESULTS:In vitro studies revealed that the tesaglitazar-[F7, P34]-NPY conjugate selectively activates PPAR? in NPY1R-expressing cells and enhances adipocyte differentiation and adiponectin expression in adipocyte precursor cells. In vivo studies using db/db mice demonstrated that the anti-diabetic activity of the peptide conjugate is as efficient as that of systemically administered tesaglitazar. Additionally, tesa-NPY induces adipocyte differentiation in vivo. CONCLUSIONS:The use of the tesaglitazar-[F7, P34]-NPY conjugate is a promising strategy to apply the beneficial PPAR?/? effects in adipocytes while potentially omitting adverse effects in other tissues.
Project description:Modular nanotransporters (MNTs) are a polyfunctional platform designed to achieve receptor-specific delivery of short-range therapeutics into the cell nucleus by receptor-mediated endocytosis, endosome escape, and targeted nuclear transport. This study evaluated the potential utility of the MNT platform in tandem with Auger electron emitting 111In for cancer therapy.Three MNTs developed to target either melanocortin receptor-1 (MC1R), folate receptor (FR), or epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) that are overexpressed on cancer cells were modified with p-SCN-Bn-NOTA and then labeled with 111In in high specific activity. Cytotoxicity of the 111In-labeled MNTs was evaluated on cancer cell lines bearing the appropriate receptor target (FR: HeLa, SK-OV-3; EGFR: A431, U87MG.wtEGFR; and MC1R: B16-F1). In vivo micro-single-photon emission computed tomography/computed tomography imaging and antitumor efficacy studies were performed with intratumoral injection of MC1R-targeted 111In-labeled MNT in B16-F1 melanoma tumor-bearing mice.The three NOTA-MNT conjugates were labeled with a specific activity of 2.7 GBq/mg with nearly 100% yield, allowing use without subsequent purification. The cytotoxicity of 111In delivered by these MNTs was greatly enhanced on receptor-expressing cancer cells compared with 111In nontargeted control. In mice with B16-F1 tumors, prolonged retention of 111In by serial imaging and significant tumor growth delay (82% growth inhibition) were found.The specific in vitro cytotoxicity, prolonged tumor retention, and therapeutic efficacy of MC1R-targeted 111In-NOTA-MNT suggest that this Auger electron emitting conjugate warrants further evaluation as a locally delivered radiotherapeutic, such as for ocular melanoma brachytherapy. Moreover, the high cytotoxicity observed with FR- and EGFR-targeted 111In-NOTA-MNT suggests further applications of the MNT delivery strategy should be explored.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Molecular radiotherapy exploiting short-range Auger electron-emitting radionuclides has potential for targeted cancer treatment and, in particular, is an attractive option for managing micrometastatic disease. Here, an approach using chelator-trastuzumab conjugates to target radioactivity to breast cancer cells was evaluated as a proof-of-concept to assess the suitability of 67Ga as a therapeutic radionuclide. METHODS:THP-trastuzumab and DOTA-trastuzumab were synthesised and radiolabelled with Auger electron-emitters 67Ga and 111In, respectively. Radiopharmaceuticals were tested for HER2-specific binding and internalisation, and their effects on viability (dye exclusion) and clonogenicity of HER2-positive HCC1954 and HER2-negative MDA-MB-231 cell lines was measured. Labelled cell populations were studied by microautoradiography. RESULTS:Labelling efficiencies for [67Ga]Ga-THP-trastuzumab and [111In]In-DOTA-trastuzumab were 90% and 98%, respectively, giving specific activities 0.52 ± 0.16 and 0.61 ± 0.11 MBq/?g (78-92 GBq/?mol). At 4 nM total antibody concentration and 200 × 103 cells/mL, [67Ga]Ga-THP-trastuzumab showed higher percentage of cell association (10.7 ± 1.3%) than [111In]In-DOTA-trastuzumab (6.2 ± 1.6%; p = 0.01). The proportion of bound activity that was internalised did not differ significantly for the two tracers (62.1 ± 1.4% and 60.8 ± 15.5%, respectively). At 100 nM, percentage cell binding of both radiopharmaceuticals was greatly reduced compared to 4 nM and did not differ significantly between the two (1.2 ± 1.0% [67Ga]Ga-THP-trastuzumab and 0.8 ± 0.9% for [111In]In-DOTA-trastuzumab). Viability and clonogenicity of HER2-positive cells decreased when each radionuclide was incorporated into cells by conjugation with trastuzumab, but not when the same level of radioactivity was confined to the medium by omitting the antibody conjugation, suggesting that 67Ga needs to be cell-bound or internalised for a therapeutic effect. Microautoradiography showed that radioactivity bound to individual cells varied considerably within the population. CONCLUSIONS:[67Ga]Ga-THP-trastuzumab reduced cell viability and clonogenicity only when cell-bound, suggesting 67Ga holds promise as a therapeutic radionuclide as part of a targeted radiopharmaceutical. The causes and consequences of non-homogeneous uptake among the cell population should be explored.
Project description:A novel lysine-based trifunctional chelate 3 was designed, synthesized, and characterized and bears both a chelating moiety (CHX-A' ') for sequestering radiometals (86Y or 111In) and the near-infrared dye Cy5.5 for dual modality PET (or SPECT) and fluorescence imaging, respectively. Successful conjugation of 3 to the monoclonal antibody trastuzumab (Herceptin) was achieved by efficient thiol-maleimide chemistry, thereby yielding immunoconjugate 2. Analysis of 2 by flow cytometry and competitive binding assay demonstrates that immunoconjugate 2 binds to SKOV3 tumor cells comparably to native trastuzumab and, thus, may be used as a tumor-targeted monoclonal antibody probe for multimodality imaging.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:The F3 peptide (KDEPQRRSARLSAKPAPPKPEPKPKKAPAKK), a fragment of the human high mobility group protein 2, binds nucleolin. Nucleolin is expressed in the nuclei of normal cells but is also expressed on the membrane of some cancer cells. The goal was to investigate the use of 111In-labeled F3 peptide for Auger electron-targeted radiotherapy. METHODS:F3 was labeled with fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) for confocal microscopy and conjugated to p-SCN-benzyl-diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (BnDTPA) for labeling with 111In to form 111In-BnDTPA-F3. MDA-MB-231-H2N (231-H2N) human breast cancer cells were exposed to 111In-BnDTPA-F3 and used in cell fractionation, ?H2AX immunostaining (a marker of DNA double-strand breaks), and clonogenic assays. In vivo, biodistribution studies of 111In-BnDTPA-F3 were performed in 231-H2N xenograft-bearing mice. In tumor growth delay studies, 111In-BnDTPA-F3 (3 ?g, 6 MBq/?g) was administered intravenously to 231-H2N xenograft-bearing mice once weekly for 3 weeks. RESULTS:Membrane-binding of FITC-F3 was observed in 231-H2N cells, and there was co-localization of FITC-F3 with nucleolin in the nuclei. After exposure of 231-H2N cells to 111In-BnDTPA-F3 for 2 h, 1.7% of 111In added to the medium was membrane-bound. Of the bound 111In, 15% was internalized, and of this, 37% was localized in the nucleus. Exposure of 231-H2N cells to 111In-BnDTPA-F3 (1 ?M, 6 MBq/?g) resulted in a dose-dependent increase in ?H2AX foci and in a significant reduction of clonogenic survival compared to untreated cells or cells exposed to unlabeled BnDTPA-F3 (46 ± 4.1%, 100 ± 1.8%, and 132 ± 7.7%, respectively). In vivo, tumor uptake of 111In-BnDTPA-F3 (3 ?g, 6 MBq/?g) at 3-h post-injection was 1% of the injected dose per gram (%ID/g), and muscle uptake was 0.5%ID/g. In tumor growth delay studies, tumor growth rate was reduced 19-fold compared to untreated or unlabeled BnDTPA-F3-treated mice (p = 0.023). CONCLUSION:111In-BnDTPA-F3 is internalized into 231-H2N cells and translocates to the nucleus. 111In-BnDTPA-F3 has a potent cytotoxic effect in vitro and an anti-tumor effect in mice bearing 231-H2N xenografts despite modest total tumor accumulation.
Project description:Modular nanotransporters (MNTs) are artificial multifunctional systems designed to facilitate receptor-specific transport from the cell surface into the cell nucleus through inclusion of polypeptide domains for accomplishing receptor binding and internalization, as well as sequential endosomal escape and nuclear translocation. The objective of this study was to develop a new MNT targeted at folate receptors (FRs) for precise delivery of therapeutic cargo to the nuclei of FR-positive cells and to evaluate its potential, particularly for delivery of therapeutic agents (eg, the Auger electron emitter 111In) into the nuclei of target cancer cells.A FR-targeted MNT was developed by site-specific derivatization of ligand-free MNT with maleimide-polyethylene glycol-folic acid. The ability of FR-targeted MNT to accumulate in target FR-expressing cells was evaluated using flow cytometry, and intracellular localization of this MNT was assessed using confocal laser scanning microscopy of cells. The cytotoxicity of the 111In-labeled FR-targeted MNT was evaluated on HeLa and U87MG cancer cell lines expressing FR. In vivo micro-single-photon emission computed tomography/CT imaging and antitumor efficacy studies were performed with intratumoral injection of 111In-labeled FR-targeted MNT in HeLa xenograft-bearing mice.The resulting FR-targeted MNT accumulated in FR-positive HeLa cancer cell lines specifically and demonstrated the ability to reach its target destination - the cell nuclei. 111In-labeled FR-targeted MNT demonstrated efficient and specific FR-positive cancer cell eradication. A HeLa xenograft in vivo model revealed prolonged retention of 111In delivered by FR-targeted MNT and significant tumor growth delay (up to 80% growth inhibition).The FR-targeted MNT met expectations of its ability to deliver active cargo into the nuclei of target FR-positive cells efficiently and specifically. As a result of this finding the new FR-targeted MNT approach warrants broad evaluation.
Project description:Tubugi-1 is a small cytotoxic peptide with picomolar cytotoxicity. To improve its cancer cell targeting, it was conjugated using a universal, modular disulfide derivative. This allowed conjugation to a neuropeptide-Y (NPY)-inspired peptide [K4(C-?A-),F7,L17,P34]-hNPY, acting as NPY Y1 receptor (hY1R)-targeting peptide, to form a tubugi-1-SS-NPY disulfide-linked conjugate. The cytotoxic impacts of the novel tubugi-1-NPY peptide-toxin conjugate, as well as of free tubugi-1, and tubugi-1 bearing the thiol spacer (liberated from tubugi-1-NPY conjugate), and native tubulysin A as reference were investigated by in vitro cell viability and proliferation screenings. The tumor cell lines HT-29, Colo320 (both colon cancer), PC-3 (prostate cancer), and in conjunction with RT-qPCR analyses of the hY1R expression, the cell lines SK-N-MC (Ewing`s sarcoma), MDA-MB-468, MDA-MB-231 (both breast cancer) and 184B5 (normal breast; chemically transformed) were investigated. As hoped, the toxicity of tubugi-1 was masked, with IC50 values decreased by ca. 1,000-fold compared to the free toxin. Due to intracellular linker cleavage, the cytotoxic potency of the liberated tubugi-1 that, however, still bears the thiol spacer (tubugi-1-SH) was restored and up to 10-fold higher compared to the entire peptide-toxin conjugate. The conjugate shows toxic selectivity to tumor cell lines overexpressing the hY1R receptor subtype like, e.g., the hard to treat triple-negative breast cancer MDA-MB-468 cells.
Project description:BACKGROUND:For almost a decade, terbium radioisotopes have been explored for their potential theragnostic application in nuclear medicine: 152Tb and 155Tb are the radioisotopes identified for PET or SPECT imaging, while 149Tb and 161Tb have suitable decay characteristics for ?- and combined ?-/Auger-e--therapy, respectively. In the present study, the application of 152Tb, in combination with PSMA-617 for imaging of prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA)-positive prostate cancer, was demonstrated in a preclinical setting and in a patient with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). RESULTS:152Tb was produced at the ISOLDE facility at CERN/Geneva, Switzerland, by spallation, followed by on-line mass separation. The chemical separation was performed at Paul Scherrer Institute using chromatographic methods, as previously reported. 152Tb was employed for labeling PSMA-617, and the radioligand was extensively investigated in vitro to demonstrate similar characteristics to its 177Lu-labeled counterpart. Preclinical PET/CT imaging studies performed with mice enabled visualization of PSMA-positive PC-3 PIP tumors, while uptake in PSMA-negative PC-3 flu tumors were absent. Based on these promising preclinical results, 152Tb was shipped to Zentralklinik Bad Berka, Germany, where it was used for labeling of PSMA-617, enabling PET imaging of a patient with mCRPC. PET/CT scans were performed over a period of 25?h post injection (p.i.) of the radioligand (140?MBq). The images were of diagnostic quality, particularly those acquired at later time points, and enabled the detection of the same metastatic lesions and of local recurrent tumor as previously detected by 68Ga-PSMA-11 PET/CT acquired 45?min p.i. CONCLUSIONS:The results of this study demonstrate the successful preparation and preclinical testing of 152Tb-PSMA-617 and its first application in a patient with mCRPC. This work could pave the way towards clinical application of other Tb radionuclides in the near future, most importantly 161Tb, which has promising decay characteristics for an effective treatment of mCRPC patients.