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Bioconjug Chem. 2009 Dec;20(12):2199-213. doi: 10.1021/bc900167c.

Radiolabeled cyclic RGD peptides as integrin alpha(v)beta(3)-targeted radiotracers: maximizing binding affinity via bivalency.

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School of Health Sciences, Purdue University, 550 Stadium Mall Drive, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907, USA.


Integrin alpha(v)beta(3) plays a significant role in tumor angiogenesis and is a receptor for the extracellular matrix proteins with the exposed arginine-glycine-aspartic (RGD) tripeptide sequence. These include vitronectin, fibronectin, fibrinogen, lamin, collagen, Von Willibrand's factor, osteoponin, and adenovirus particles. Integrin alpha(v)beta(3) is expressed at low levels on epithelial cells and mature endothelial cells, but it is overexpressed on the activated endothelial cells of tumor neovasculature and some tumor cells. The restricted expression of integrin alpha(v)beta(3) during tumor growth, invasion, and metastasis presents an interesting molecular target for both early detection and treatment of rapidly growing solid tumors. Over the past decade, many radiolabeled linear and cyclic RGD peptide antagonists have been evaluated as integrin alpha(v)beta(3)-targeted radiotracers. Significant progress has been made on their use for imaging integrin alpha(v)beta(3)-positive tumors by SPECT or PET. Among the radiotracers evaluated in preclinical tumor-bearing models, [18F]Galacto-RGD (2-[18F]fluoropropanamide c(RGDfK(SAA); SAA = 7-amino-L-glyero-L-galacto-2,6-anhydro-7-deoxyheptanamide) and [18F]-AH111585 are currently under clinical investigation for visualization of integrin alpha(v)beta(3) expression in cancer patients. However, their low tumor uptake, high cost, and lack of preparative modules for routine radiosynthesis will limit their continued clinical application. Thus, there is a continuing need for more efficient integrin alpha(v)beta(3)-targeted radiotracers that are readily prepared from a kit formulation without further postlabeling purification. This article will focus on different approaches to maximize the targeting capability of cyclic RGD peptides and to improve the radiotracer excretion kinetics from noncancerous organs. Improvement of tumor uptake and tumor-to-background ratios is important for early detection of integrin alpha(v)beta(3)-positive tumors and/or noninvasive monitoring of therapeutic efficacy of antiangiogenic therapy.

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