Indexed on: 22 Feb '08Published on: 22 Feb '08Published in: Journal of nuclear medicine : official publication, Society of Nuclear Medicine
Both bombesin (BBN) analogs and cyclic RGD peptides have been suitably radiolabeled for prostate cancer imaging. However, the limited expression of gastrin-releasing peptide receptor (GRPR) and integrin alpha(v)beta(3) as well as unfavorable in vivo kinetics limited further applications of these imaging agents. We hypothesize that a peptide ligand recognizing both GRPR and integrin will be advantageous because of its dual-receptor-targeting ability.A BBN-RGD heterodimer was synthesized from bombesin(7-14) and c(RGDyK) through a glutamate linker and then labeled with (18)F via the N-succinimidyl-4-(18)F-fluorobenzoate ((18)F-SFB) prosthetic group. The receptor-binding characteristics and tumor-targeting efficacy of (18)F-FB-BBN-RGD were tested in vitro and in vivo.FB-BBN-RGD had comparable integrin alpha(v)beta(3)-binding affinity with c(RGDyK) and comparable GRPR-binding affinity with BBN(7-14). (18)F-FB-BBN-RGD had significantly higher tumor uptake compared with monomeric RGD and monomeric BBN peptide tracer analogs at all time points examined. The PC-3 tumor uptake of (18)F-FB-BBN-RGD was inhibited only partially in the presence of an excess amount of unlabeled BBN(7-14) or c(RGDyK) but was blocked completely in the presence of both BBN(7-14) and c(RGDyK). Compared with (18)F-FB-BBN and (18)F-FB-RGD, (18)F-FB-BBN-RGD also had improved pharmacokinetics, resulting in a significantly higher imaging quality.Dual integrin alpha(v)beta(3) and GRPR recognition showed significantly improved tumor-targeting efficacy and pharmacokinetics compared with (18)F-labeled RGD and BBN analogs. The same heterodimeric ligand design may also be applicable to other receptor system combinations and other imaging modalities.