1-[3-(2-[18F]fluoropyridin-3-yloxy)propyl]pyrrole-2,5-dione: design, synthesis, and radiosynthesis of a new [18F]fluoropyridine-based maleimide reagent for the labeling of peptides and proteins

Béatrice de Bruin, Bertrand Kuhnast, Françoise Hinnen, Loïc Yaouancq, Mohamed Amessou, Ludger Johannes, Alain Samson, Raphaël Boisgard, Bertrand Tavitian, Frédéric Dollé
Bioconjugate Chemistry 2005, 16 (2): 406-20
FPyME (1-[3-(2-fluoropyridin-3-yloxy)propyl]pyrrole-2,5-dione) was designed as a [(18)F]fluoropyridine-based maleimide reagent for the prosthetic labeling of peptides and proteins via selective conjugation with a thiol (sulfhydryl) function. Its pyridinyl moiety carries the radioactive halogen (fluorine-18) which can be efficiently incorporated via a nucleophilic heteroaromatic substitution, and its maleimido function ensures the efficient alkylation of a free thiol function as borne by cysteine residues. [(18)F]FPyME (HPLC-purified) was prepared in 17-20% non-decay-corrected yield, based on starting [(18)F]fluoride, in 110 min using a three-step radiochemical pathway. The developed procedure involves (1) a high-yield nucleophilic heteroaromatic ortho-radiofluorination on [3-(3-tert-butoxycarbonylaminopropoxy)pyridin-2-yl]trimethylammonium trifluoromethanesulfonate as the fluorine-18 incorporation step, followed by (2) rapid and quantitative TFA-induced removal of the N-Boc-protective group and (3) optimized maleimide formation using N-methoxycarbonylmaleimide. Typically, 4.8-6.7 GBq (130-180 mCi) of radiochemically pure [(18)F]FPyME ([(18)F]-1) could be obtained after semipreparative HPLC in 110 min starting from a cyclotron production batch of 33.3 GBq (900 mCi) of [(18)F]fluoride (overall radiochemical yields, based on starting [(18)F]fluoride: 28-37% decay-corrected). [(18)F]FPyME ([(18)F]-1) was first conjugated with a small model hexapeptide ((N-Ac)KAAAAC), confirming the excellent chemoselectivity of the coupling reaction (CH(2)SH versus CH(2)NH(2)) and then conjugated with two 8-kDa proteins of interest, currently being developed as tumor imaging agents (c-AFIM-0 and c-STxB). Conjugation was achieved in high yields (60-70%, isolated and non-decay-corrected) and used optimized, short-time reaction conditions (a 1/9 (v/v) mixture of DMSO and 0.05 M aq Tris NaCl buffer (pH 7.4) or 0.1 M aq PBS (pH 8), at room temperature for 10 min) and purification conditions (a gel filtration using a Sephadex NAP-10 cartridge or a SuperDex Peptide HR 10/30 column), both compatible with the chemical stability of the proteins and the relatively short half-life of the radioisotope concerned. The whole radiosynthetic procedure, including the preparation of the fluorine-18-labeled reagent, the conjugation with the protein and the final purification took 130-140 min. [(18)F]FPyME ([(18)F]-1) represents a new, valuable, thiol-selective, fluorine-18-labeled reagent for the prosthetic labeling with fluorine-18 of peptides and proteins. Because of its excellent chemoselectivity, [(18)F]FPyME offers an interesting alternative to the use of the nonselective carboxylate and amine-reactive [(18)F]reagents and can therefore advantageously be used for the design and development of new peptide- and protein-based radiopharmaceuticals for PET.

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