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Synthesis And Evaluation Of A Technetium-99m Labeled Cytotoxic Bombesin Peptide Conjugate For Targeting Bombesin Receptor-expressing Tumors.

S. Okarvi, I. Al Jammaz
Published 2010 · Medicine, Chemistry

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Conjugation of the cytotoxic drugs to receptor-binding peptides is an attractive approach for the targeted delivery of cytotoxic peptide conjugates to tumor cells. In an attempt to develop an efficient peptide-based radiopharmaceutical for targeting bombesin (BN) receptor-expressing tumors (i.e., breast and prostate), we have prepared by solid-phase peptide synthesis, a novel BN analog derived from the universal sequence of BN and conjugated to a widely characterized antineoplastic agent, methotrexate (MTX). MTX-BN, after radiolabeling with (99m)Tc via stannous-tartrate exchange, showed a good stability against cysteine and histidine transchelation as well as a high in vitro metabolic stability in human plasma. In vitro cell-binding and internalization on MDA-MB-231, MCF-7, T47-D breast cancer and PC-3 prostate cancer cell lines demonstrated high affinity and specificity of (99m)Tc-MTX-BN towards both human breast and prostate cancer cells (binding affinities in nanomolar range). In addition, the radioconjugate displayed a significant internalization (values ranged between 19-35%) into the tumor cells. In vivo biodistribution and clearance kinetics in Balb/c mice are characterized by an efficient clearance from the blood and excretion mainly through the renal-urinary pathway with some elimination via the hepatobiliary system. In vivo tumor uptake in nude mice bearing MDA-MB-231 cells was 2.70+/-0.44% ID/g at 1 h, whereas in nude mice with human epidermoid KB cells the accumulation in the tumor was found to be 1.48+/-0.31% ID/g at 1 h post injection. The tumor uptake was always higher than in the blood and muscle, with good tumor retention and good tumor-to-blood and tumor-to-muscle ratios. The accumulation/retention in the major organs (i.e., lungs, stomach, liver, intestines, etc.) was low to moderate (<6% ID/g) in both healthy and tumor-bearing mice. However, the uptake/retention in the kidneys was rather high (up to 11.05+/-1.80% ID/g), which is of a concern, particularly for radionuclide therapy. This initial study towards the development of a novel cytotoxic BN conjugate suggest that the combination of favorable in vitro and in vivo properties may render (99m)Tc-MTX-BN a potential candidate for the targeted imaging and eventually for radionuclide therapy (when labeled with an appropriate radionuclide) of BN receptor-positive tumors and deserves further evaluation.
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