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Biomacromolecules. 2010 Mar 8;11(3):754-61. doi: 10.1021/bm901352v.

Peptide-targeted Nanoglobular Gd-DOTA monoamide conjugates for magnetic resonance cancer molecular imaging.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio 44106, USA.


Effective imaging of a cancer molecular biomarker is critical for accurate cancer diagnosis and prognosis. CLT1 peptide was observed to specifically bind to the fibrin-fibronectin complexes presented in tumor extracellular matrix. In this study, we synthesized and evaluated CLT1 peptide-targeted nanoglobular Gd-DOTA monoamide conjugates for magnetic resonance (MR) imaging of the fibrin-fibronectin complexes in tumor. The targeted nanoglobular contrast agents were prepared by conjugating peptide CLT1 to G2 and G3 nanoglobule (lysine dendrimers with a cubic silsesquioxane core) Gd-DOTA monoamide conjugates via click chemistry. The T(1) relaxivities of peptide-targeted G2 and G3 nanoglobules were 7.92 and 8.20 mM(-1) s(-1) at 3T, respectively. Approximately 2 peptides and 25 Gd-DOTA chelates were conjugated onto the surface of 32 amine groups of G2 nanoglobule, and 3 peptides and 43 Gd-DOTA chelates onto the surface of 64 amine groups of G3 nanoglobule. The peptide-targeted nanoglobular contrast agents showed greater contrast enhancement than the corresponding nontargeted agents in tumor at a dose of 0.03 mmol-Gd/kg in female athymic mice bearing MDA-MB-231 human breast carcinoma xenografts. The targeted MRI contrast agents have a potential for specific cancer molecular imaging with MRI.

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