Synthesis and evaluation of 99mTc-Tricabonyl labeled isonitrile conjugates for prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) image

Nadeem Ahmed Lodhi, Ji Yong Park, Kyuwan Kim, Mi Kyung Hong, Young Joo Kim, Yun Sang Lee, Gi Jeong Cheon, Keon Wook Kang, Jae Min Jeong

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Prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) is a biomarker expressed on the surface of prostate cancer (PCa). In an effort to improve the detection and treatment of PCa, small urea-based PSMA inhibitors have been studied extensively. In the present study, we aimed to develop 99mTc-tricabonyl labeled urea-based PSMA conjugates containing isonitrile (CN-R)-coordinating ligands ([99mTc]Tc-15 and [99mTc]Tc-16). Both the PSMA conjugates were obtained at high radiochemical efficiency (±98.5%). High in vitro binding affinity was observed for [99mTc]Tc-15 and [99mTc]Tc-16 (Kd = 5.5 and 0.2 nM, respectively) in PSMA-expressing 22Rv1 cells. Tumor xenografts were conducted using 22Rv1 cells and rapid accumulation of [99mTc]Tc-16 (1.87 ± 0.11% ID/g) was observed at 1 h post-injection, which subsequently increased to (2.83 ± 0.26% ID/g) at 4 h post-injection. However, [99mTc]Tc-15 showed moderate tumor uptake (1.48 ± 0.18% ID/g), which decreased at 4 h post-injection (0.81 ± 0.09% ID/g). [99mTc]Tc-16 was excreted from non-targeted tissues with high tumor-to-blood (17:1) and tumor-to-muscle ratio (41:1) at 4 h post-injection at approximately 4 times higher levels than [99mTc]Tc-15. Uptakes of [99mTc]Tc-15 and [99mTc]Tc-16 to PSMA-expressing tumor and tissues were significantly blocked by co-injection of 2-(Phosphonomethyl)-pentandioic acid (2-PMPA), suggesting that their uptakes are mediated by PSMA specifically. Whole-body single photon emission computed tomography imaging of [99mTc]Tc-16 verified the ex vivo biodistribution results and demonstrated clear visualization of tumors and tissues expressing PSMA compared to [99mTc]Tc-15. In conclusion, using [99mTc]Tc-16 rather than [99mTc]Tc-15 may be the preferable because of its relatively high tumor uptake and retention.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020



  • Isonitrile
  • Prostate cancer
  • Prostate-specific membrane antigen
  • Technetium-99m

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