A radioiodinated MIBG-octreotate conjugate exhibiting enhanced uptake and retention in SSTR2-expressing tumor cells

Ganesan Vaidyanathan, Donna J Affleck, Joseph Norman, Susan O'Dorisio, Michael R Zalutsky
Bioconjugate Chemistry 2007, 18 (6): 2122-30
Several neuroendocrine tumors are known to express both the somatostatin receptor subtype 2 (SSTR2) and the norepinephrine transporter (NET), and radiopharmaceuticals directed toward both these targets such as MIBG and octreotide derivatives are routinely used in the clinic. To investigate the possibility of targeting both NET and SSTR2 conjointly, a conjugate of radioiodinated MIBG and octreotate was synthesized. Attempts to synthesize the radioiodinated target compound (MIBG-octreotate; [ (131)I] 12a) from a tin precursor were futile; however, it could be accomplished from a bromo precursor by exchange radioiodination in 3-36% ( n = 10) radiochemical yields. The total uptake of [ (131)I] 12a in SK-N-SH human neuroblastoma cells transfected to express SSTR2 (SK-N-SHsst2) was similar to that for [ (125)I]MIBG at all time points (34.9 +/- 2.4% vs 43.8 +/- 1.2% at 4 h; p < 0.05), while it was substantially lower (5.4 +/- 0.3% vs 35.9 +/- 1.2%) in the SH-SY5Y cell line, a subclone of SK-N-SH line that is known to express SSTR2. The NET blocker desipramine reduced the uptake of [ (131)I] 12a only to a small extent, further suggesting a limited role of NET in its binding and accumulation. Uptake of [ (131)I] 12a in SK-N-SHsst2 cells was 8-10-fold higher ( p < 0.05) than that of [ (125)I]I-Gluc-TOCA, an octreotide analogue, at all time points over a 4 h period and was reduced to about 20% by 10 muM octreotide demonstrating that the uptake of [ (131)I] 12a in this cell line is predominantly mediated by SSTR2. The intracellularly trapped radioactivity in SK-N-SHsst2 cells was substantially higher for [ (131)I] 12a compared to that for [ (125)I]OIBG-octreotate, an isomeric congener of 12a. Because MIBG has more specific NET-mediated uptake than OIBG, this suggests at least a partial role for NET-mediated uptake of [ (131)I] 12a in this cell line. While further refinement in the structure of the conjugate-probably interposition of a flexible and/or cleavable linker between the MIBG and octreotate moieties-may be necessary to make it a substrate/ligand for both NET and SSTR2, this conjugate is demonstrated to be much superior than I-Gluc-TOCA with respect to the uptake in SSTR2-expressing cells.


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