The tetraamine chelator outperforms HYNIC in a new technetium-99m-labelled somatostatin receptor 2 antagonist.

Abiraj, Keelara; Ursillo, Samer; Tamma, Maria Luisa; Rylova, Svetlana N; Waser, Beatrice; Constable, Edwin C; Fani, Melpomeni; Nicolas, Guillaume P; Reubi, Jean Claude; Maecke, Helmut R (2018). The tetraamine chelator outperforms HYNIC in a new technetium-99m-labelled somatostatin receptor 2 antagonist. EJNMMI research, 8(1), p. 75. Springer 10.1186/s13550-018-0428-y

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Somatostatin receptor targeting radiopeptides are successfully being used to image, stage, and monitor patients with neuroendocrine tumours. They are exclusively agonists that internalise upon binding to the relevant receptor. According to recent reports, antagonists may be preferable to agonists. To date, Tc-labelled somatostatin receptor antagonists have attracted little attention. Here, we report on a new somatostatin receptor subtype 2 (sst2) antagonist, SS-01 (p-Cl-Phe-cyclo(D-Cys-Tyr-D-Trp-Lys-Thr-Cys)D-Tyr-NH), with the aim of developing Tc-labelled ligands for SPECT/CT imaging. SS-01 was prepared using Fmoc solid-phase synthesis and subsequently coupled to the chelators 1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-1,4,7,10-tetraacetic acid (DOTA), 6-carboxy-1,4,8,11-tetraazaundecane (N4), and 6-hydrazinonicotinic acid (HYNIC) to form the corresponding peptide-chelator conjugates SS-03, SS-04, and SS-05, respectively. SS-04 and SS-05 were radiolabelled with Tc and SS-03 with Lu. Binding affinity and antagonistic properties were determined using autoradiography and immunofluorescence microscopy. Biodistribution and small animal SPECT/CT studies were performed on mice bearing HEK293-rsst2 xenografts.


The conjugates showed low nanomolar sst2 affinity and antagonistic properties. Lu-DOTA-SS-01 (Lu-SS-03) and Tc-N4-SS-01 (Tc-SS-04) demonstrated high cell binding and low internalisation, whereas Tc-HYNIC/edda-SS-01 (Tc-SS-05) showed practically no cellular uptake in vitro. The Tc-SS-04 demonstrated impressive tumour uptake at early time points, with 47% injected activity per gram tumour (%IA/g) at 1 h post-injection. The tumour uptake persisted after 4 h and was 32.5 %IA/g at 24 h. The uptake in all other organs decreased much more rapidly leading to high tumour-to-normal organ ratios, which was reflected in high-contrast SPECT/CT images.


These data indicate a very promising Tc-labelled sst2-targeting antagonist. The results demonstrate high sensitivity of the Tc-labelling strategy, which was shown to strongly influence the receptor affinity, contrary to corresponding agonists. Tc-SS-04 exhibits excellent pharmacokinetics and imaging properties and appears to be a suitable candidate for SPECT/CT clinical translation.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute of Pathology

UniBE Contributor:

Reubi-Kattenbusch, Jean-Claude


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Christa Hagert

Date Deposited:

04 Dec 2018 11:37

Last Modified:

23 Oct 2019 03:42

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

99mTc NETs SPECT/CT Somatostatin receptor antagonists




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