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Bioconjug Chem. 2016 Nov 16;27(11):2678-2688. Epub 2016 Oct 27.

Influence of the N-Terminal Composition on Targeting Properties of Radiometal-Labeled Anti-HER2 Scaffold Protein ADAPT6.

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Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, Uppsala University , SE-75185 Uppsala, Sweden.
Department of Protein Technology, KTH - Royal Institute of Technology , SE-10691 Stockholm, Sweden.
Division of Molecular Imaging, Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Uppsala University , SE-75181 Uppsala, Sweden.


Radionuclide-imaging-based stratification of patients to targeted therapies makes cancer treatment more personalized and therefore more efficient. Albumin-binding domain derived affinity proteins (ADAPTs) constitute a novel group of imaging probes based on the scaffold of an albumin-binding domain (ABD). To evaluate how different compositions of the N-terminal sequence of ADAPTs influence their biodistribution, a series of human epidermal growth factor receptor type 2 (HER2)-binding ADAPT6 derivatives with different N-terminal sequences were created: GCH6DANS (2), GC(HE)3DANS (3), GCDEAVDANS (4), and GCVDANS(5). These were compared with the parental variant: GCSS(HE)3DEAVDANS (1). All variants were site-specifically conjugated with a maleimido-derivative of a DOTA chelator and labeled with 111In. Binding to HER2-expressing cells in vitro, in vivo biodistribution as well as targeting properties of the new variants were compared with properties of the 111In-labeled parental ADAPT variant 1 (111In-DOTA-1). The composition of the N-terminal sequence had an apparent influence on biodistribution of ADAPT6 in mice. The use of a hexahistidine tag in 111In-DOTA-2 was associated with elevated hepatic uptake compared to the (HE)3-containing counterpart, 111In-DOTA-3. All new variants without a hexahistidine tag demonstrated lower uptake in blood, lung, spleen, and muscle compared to uptake in the parental variant. The best new variants, 111In-DOTA-3 and 111In-DOTA-5, provided tumor uptakes of 14.6 ± 2.4 and 12.5 ± 1.3% ID/g at 4 h after injection, respectively. The tumor uptake of 111In-DOTA-3 was significantly higher than the uptake of the parental 111In-DOTA-1 (9.1 ± 2.0% ID/g). The tumor-to-blood ratios of 395 ± 75 and 419 ± 91 at 4 h after injection were obtained for 111In-DOTA-5 and 111In-DOTA-3, respectively. In conclusion, the N-terminal sequence composition affects the biodistribution and targeting properties of ADAPT-based imaging probes, and its optimization may improve imaging contrast.

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