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Bioconjug Chem. 1998 Jul-Aug;9(4):497-506.

Assessment of the radiochemical design of antibodies with a metabolizable linkage for target-selective radioactivity delivery.

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Department of Patho-Functional Bioanalysis, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kyoto University, Yoshida-Shimoadachi-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan.


Interposition of a metabolizable linkage has been performed to reduce the hepatic radioactivity levels of radiolabeled antibodies. To estimate the validity of this strategy, a radioiodination reagent (HML) that provides a stable attachment for m-iodohippuric acid with proteins in plasma while facilitating rapid and selective release of the compound after lysosomal proteolysis in the liver was conjugated with a monoclonal antibody (mAb) against osteogenic sarcoma (OST7, IgG1). Radiolabeled OST7 conjugates with a plasma-labile ester bond for releasing m-iodohippuric acid (MIH), plasma-stable amide bonds for releasing radiometabolites of hepatobiliary excretion (MPH), or slow elimination rates from hepatocytes ([111In]EMCS-Bz-EDTA) were prepared with similar conjugation chemistry. The four radiolabeled OST7 conjugates were characterized both in vitro and in vivo. All the radiolabeled OST7 conjugates had similar radiochromatograms on size-exclusion HPLC and similar antigen binding affinities. While MIH-OST7 indicated accelerated clearance of radioactivity from the blood due to the release of m-iodohippurate, the rest of the three radiolabeled OST7 conjugates remained stable in serum incubation studies and had similar radioactivity elimination from the blood in vivo. When injected into normal mice, HML-OST7 demonstrated tissue-to-blood ratios of radioactivity similar to those of MIH-OST7 and significantly lower than those of the other two radiolabeled OST7 conjugates. In biodistribution studies in nude mice, both HML-OST7 and MIH-OST7 exhibited tumor-to-liver or tumor-to-intestine ratios of radioactivity higher than those of [111In]EMCS-Bz-EDTA-OST7 or MPH-OST7, respectively. HML-OST7, MPH-OST7, and [111In]EMCS-Bz-EDTA-OST7 indicated there were no changes in the radioactivity levels in the tumor between 24 and 48 h postinjection, whereas MIH-OST7 significantly decreased the radioactivity levels in the tumor at these time points. HML reduced the radioactivity levels in nontarget tissues without impairing the tumor radioactivity levels delivered by OST7. These findings indicated that the design of a radiolabeled mAb that is stable in plasma and liberates the radiometabolite of rapid urinary excretion constitutes an effective strategy for achieving target-selective radioactivity delivery.

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