INTRODUCTION: Dysregulated MMP expression or activation is associated with several diseases. To study MMP activity in vivo by means of PET a radiolabeled MMP inhibitor (MMPI) functioning as radiotracer has been developed by our group based on the lead structure CGS 25966. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Aiming at the modification of the pharmacokinetics of this lipophilic model tracer a new class of MMPIs has been discovered, consisting of additional fluorinated hydrophilic substructures, such as mini-PEG and/or 1,2,3-triazole units. To identify the best candidate for further clinical applications, radiofluorinated compounds of each subgroup have been (radio) synthesized and evaluated regarding their biodistribution behavior and their metabolic stability. RESULTS: Radiosyntheses of different triazole based MMPIs could be realized using two step "click chemistry" procedures. Compared to lead structure [(18)F]FEtO-CGS 25966 ([(18)F]1e, log D(exp) =2.02, IC50=2-50nM) all selected candidates showed increased hydrophilicities and inhibition potencies (log D(exp) =0.23-1.25, IC50=0.006-6nM). Interestingly, despite different hydrophilicities most triazole based MMPIs showed no significant differences in their in vivo biodistribution behavior and were cleared predominantly via the hepatobiliary excretion route. Biostability and metabolism studies in vitro and in vivo revealed significant higher metabolic stability for the triazole moiety compared to the benzyl ring in the lead structure. Cleavage of ethylene glycol subunits of the mini-PEG chain led to a faster metabolism of mini-PEG containing MMPIs. CONCLUSION: The introduction of hydrophilic groups such as mini-PEG and 1,2,3-triazole units did not lead to a significant shift of the hepatobiliary elimination towards renal clearance. Particularly the introduction of mini-PEG chains led to an intense metabolic decomposition. Substitution of the benzyl moiety in lead structure 1e by a 1,2,3-trizole ring resulted in an increased metabolic stability. Therefore, the 1,2,3-triazole-1-yl-methyl substituted MMPI [(18)F]3a was found to be the most stable candidate in this series and should be chosen for further preclinical evaluation.
Type of Publication:
Journal article published