Theranostics 2014; 4(8):770-777. doi:10.7150/thno.7759

Research Paper

64Cu Labeled Sarcophagine Exendin-4 for MicroPET Imaging of Glucagon like Peptide-1 Receptor Expression

Zhanhong Wu1, Shuanglong Liu2, Indu Nair1, Keiko Omori1, Stephen Scott1, Ivan Todorov1, John E. Shively3, Peter S. Conti2, Zibo Li2✉, Fouad Kandeel1✉

1. Department of Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases Research, Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope, Duarte, CA 91010, USA.
2. Molecular Imaging Center, Department of Radiology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90033, USA.
3. Department of Immunology, Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope, Duarte, CA 91010, USA.

Abstract

The Glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor (GLP-1R) has become an important target for imaging due to its elevated expression profile in pancreatic islets, insulinoma, and the cardiovascular system. Because native GLP-1 is degraded rapidly by dipeptidyl peptidase-IV (DPP-IV), several studies have conjugated different chelators to a more stable analog of GLP-1 (such as exendin-4) as PET or SPECT imaging agents with various advantages and disadvantages. Based on the recently developed Sarcophagin chelator, here, we describe the construction of GLP-1R targeted PET probes containing monomeric and dimeric exendin-4 subunit. The in vitro binding affinity of BarMalSar-exendin-4 and Mal2Sar-(exendin-4)2 was evaluated in INS-1 cells, which over-express GLP-1R. Mal2Sar-(exendin-4)2 demonstrated around 3 times higher binding affinity compared with BaMalSar-exendin-4. After 64Cu labeling, microPET imaging of 64Cu-BaMalSar-exendin-4 and 64Cu-Mal2Sar-(exendin-4)2 were performed on subcutaneous INS-1 tumors, which were clearly visualized with both probes. The tumor uptake of 64Cu-Mal2Sar-(exendin-4)2 was significantly higher than that of 64Cu-BaMaSarl-exendin-4, which could be caused by polyvalency effect. The receptor specificity of these probes was confirmed by effective blocking of the uptake in both tumor and normal positive organs with 20-fold excess of unlabeled exendin-4. In conclusion, sarcophagine cage conjugated exendin-4 demonstrated persistent and specific uptake in INS-1 insulinoma model. Dimerization of exendin-4 could successfully lead to increased tumor uptake in vivo. Both 64Cu-BaMalSar-exendin-4 and 64Cu-Mal2Sar-(exendin-4)2 hold a great potential for GLP-1R targeted imaging.

Keywords: exendin-4 dimer, Sarcophagine, PET, 64Cu, insulinoma

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How to cite this article:
Wu Z, Liu S, Nair I, Omori K, Scott S, Todorov I, Shively JE, Conti PS, Li Z, Kandeel F. 64Cu Labeled Sarcophagine Exendin-4 for MicroPET Imaging of Glucagon like Peptide-1 Receptor Expression. Theranostics 2014; 4(8):770-777. doi:10.7150/thno.7759. Available from http://www.thno.org/v04p0770.htm