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J Nucl Med. 2007 Sep;48(9):1536-44. Epub 2007 Aug 17.

microPET of tumor integrin alphavbeta3 expression using 18F-labeled PEGylated tetrameric RGD peptide (18F-FPRGD4).

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The Molecular Imaging Program at Stanford (MIPS), Department of Radiology and Bio-X Program, Stanford University School of Medicine, 1201 Welch Road, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.


In vivo imaging of alpha(v)beta(3) expression has important diagnostic and therapeutic applications. Multimeric cyclic RGD peptides are capable of improving the integrin alpha(v)beta(3)-binding affinity due to the polyvalency effect. Here we report an example of (18)F-labeled tetrameric RGD peptide for PET of alpha(v)beta(3) expression in both xenograft and spontaneous tumor models.


The tetrameric RGD peptide E{E[c(RGDyK)](2)}(2) was derived with amino-3,6,9-trioxaundecanoic acid (mini-PEG; PEG is poly(ethylene glycol)) linker through the glutamate alpha-amino group. NH(2)-mini-PEG-E{E[c(RGDyK)](2)}(2) (PRGD4) was labeled with (18)F via the N-succinimidyl-4-(18)F-fluorobenzoate ((18)F-SFB) prosthetic group. The receptor-binding characteristics of the tetrameric RGD peptide tracer (18)F-FPRGD4 were evaluated in vitro by a cell-binding assay and in vivo by quantitative microPET imaging studies.


The decay-corrected radiochemical yield for (18)F-FPRGD4 was about 15%, with a total reaction time of 180 min starting from (18)F-F(-). The PEGylation had minimal effect on integrin-binding affinity of the RGD peptide. (18)F-FPRGD4 has significantly higher tumor uptake compared with monomeric and dimeric RGD peptide tracer analogs. The receptor specificity of (18)F-FPRGD4 in vivo was confirmed by effective blocking of the uptake in both tumors and normal organs or tissues with excess c(RGDyK).


The tetrameric RGD peptide tracer (18)F-FPRGD4 possessing high integrin-binding affinity and favorable biokinetics is a promising tracer for PET of integrin alpha(v)beta(3) expression in cancer and other angiogenesis related diseases.

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