The synthesis of peptides which possess a high affinity for the somatostatin receptor and contain a chelator for the radionuclide technetium- 99m is described. The target compounds were designed such that they would form stable, oxotechnetium(V) chelate complexes in which the site of metal coordination was well defined and remote from the receptor-binding region. Oxorhenium(V) chelate complexes of these peptides were prepared as nonradioactive surrogates for the technetium complexes. Peptide oxorhenium complexes and Tc-99m complexes eluted closely upon HPLC analysis. The receptor-binding affinities of both the free and rhenium-coordinated species were measured in vitro. The binding affinities of the free peptides (K(i)'s in the 0.25-10 nM range) compared favorably with [DTPA]octreotide (K(i) = 1.6 nM), which, as the indium-111 complex, is already approved for somatostatin receptor (SSTR)-expressing tumor imaging in the United States and Europe. Furthermore, the rhenium-coordinated peptides had binding affinities which, in many cases, were higher than those of the corresponding free peptides, with several complexes having a K(i)'s of 0.1 nM. Some of the more potent SSTR-binding peptides were labeled with technetium-99m and assessed in an in vivo study with tumor-bearing rats. The 99mTc-labeled peptides prepared in this study should be useful as SSTR-expressing tumor-imaging agents due to their high SSTR-binding affinities, ease of preparation, and, because they are low molecular weight peptides, expected pharmacokinetics characterized by rapid tracer excretion from the body resulting in high-contrast images.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Organic Chemistry