Evaluation of Met-Val-Lys as a Renal Brush Border Enzyme-Cleavable Linker to Reduce Kidney Uptake of 68Ga-Labeled DOTA-Conjugated Peptides and Peptidomimetics Bendre, Shreya; Zhang, Zhengxing; Kuo, Hsiou-Ting; Rousseau, Julie; Zhang, Chengcheng; Merkens, Helen; Roxin, Áron; Bénard, François; Lin, Kuo-Shyan
High kidney uptake is a common feature of peptide-based radiopharmaceuticals, leading to reduced detection sensitivity for lesions adjacent to kidneys and lower maximum tolerated therapeutic dose. In this study, we evaluated if the Met-Val-Lys (MVK) linker could be used to lower kidney uptake of ⁶⁸Ga-labeled DOTA-conjugated peptides and peptidomimetics. A model compound, [⁶⁸Ga]Ga-DOTA-AmBz-MVK(Ac)-OH (AmBz: aminomethylbenzoyl), and its derivative, [⁶⁸Ga]Ga-DOTA-AmBz-MVK(HTK01166)-OH, coupled with the PSMA (prostate-specific membrane antigen)-targeting motif of the previously reported HTK01166 were synthesized and evaluated to determine if they could be recognized and cleaved by the renal brush border enzymes. Additionally, positron emission tomography (PET) imaging, ex vivo biodistribution and in vivo stability studies were conducted in mice to evaluate their pharmacokinetics. [⁶⁸Ga]Ga-DOTA-AmBz-MVK(Ac)-OH was effectively cleaved specifically by neutral endopeptidase (NEP) of renal brush border enzymes at the Met-Val amide bond, and the radio-metabolite [⁶⁸Ga]Ga-DOTA-AmBz-Met-OH was rapidly excreted via the renal pathway with minimal kidney retention. [⁶⁸Ga]Ga-DOTA-AmBz-MVK(HTK01166)-OH retained its PSMA-targeting capability and was also cleaved by NEP, although less effectively when compared to [⁶⁸Ga]Ga-DOTA-AmBz-MVK(Ac)-OH. The kidney uptake of [⁶⁸Ga]Ga-DOTA-AmBz-MVK(HTK01166)-OH was 30% less compared to that of [⁶⁸Ga]Ga-HTK01166. Our data demonstrated that derivatives of [⁶⁸Ga]Ga-DOTA-AmBz-MVK-OH can be cleaved specifically by NEP, and therefore, MVK can be a promising cleavable linker for use to reduce kidney uptake of radiolabeled DOTA-conjugated peptides and peptidomimetics.
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