DOI: 10.3390/pharmaceutics16030392 ISSN: 1999-4923

Amide-to-Triazole Switch in Somatostatin-14-Based Radioligands: Impact on Receptor Affinity and In Vivo Stability

Xabier Guarrochena, Panagiotis Kanellopoulos, Anna Stingeder, Lisa-Maria Rečnik, Irene V. J. Feiner, Marie Brandt, Wolfgang Kandioller, Theodosia Maina, Berthold A. Nock, Thomas L. Mindt
  • Pharmaceutical Science

The use of metabolically stabilized, radiolabeled somatostatin (SST) analogs ([68Ga]Ga/[177Lu]Lu-DOTA-TATE/TOC/NOC) is well established in nuclear medicine. Despite the pivotal role of these radioligands in the diagnosis and therapy of neuroendocrine tumors (NETs), their inability to interact with all five somatostatin receptors (SST1–5R) limits their clinical potential. [111In]In-AT2S is a radiolabeled DOTA-conjugate derived from the parent peptide SST-14 that exhibits high binding affinity to all SSTR subtypes, but its poor metabolic stability represents a serious disadvantage for clinical use. In order to address this issue, we have replaced strategic trans-amide bonds of [111In]In-AT2S with metabolically stable 1,4-disubstituted 1,2,3-triazole bioisosteres. From the five cyclic triazolo-peptidomimetics investigated, only [111In]In-XG1 combined a preserved nanomolar affinity for the SST1,2,3,5R subtypes in vitro and an improved stability in vivo (up to 17% of intact peptide 5 min postinjection (pi) versus 6% for [111In]In-AT2S). The involvement of neprilysin (NEP) in the metabolism of [111In]In-XG1 was confirmed by coadministration of Entresto®, a registered antihypertensive drug, in vivo releasing the selective and potent NEP-inhibitor sacubitrilat. A pilot SPECT/CT imaging study conducted in mice bearing hSST2R-positive xenografts failed to visualize the xenografts due to the pronounced kidney uptake (>200% injected activity (IA)/g at 4 h pi), likely the result of the formation of cationic metabolites. To corroborate the imaging data, the tumors and the kidneys were excised and analyzed with a γ-counter. Even if receptor-specific tumor uptake for [111In]In-XG1 could be confirmed (1.61% IA/g), further optimization is required to improve its pharmacokinetic properties for radiotracer development.

More from our Archive