A self-quenched galactosamine-serum albumin-rhodaminex conjugate: A "smart" fluorescent molecular imaging probe synthesized with clinically applicable material for detecting peritoneal ovarian cancer metastases

Academic Article


  • Purpose: Fluorophore activation after cellular internalization of a targeted fluorescently labeled conjugate is an effective molecular imaging strategy to increase target-to-background ratios. The D-galactose receptor on ovarian cancer cells has been used to target self-quenched avidinrhodamineX conjugates in which the avidin component binds to D-galactose receptor and the rhodamines are optically activated by dequenching only after cellular internalization. As a non-immunogenic alternative of avidin, galactosamine-conjugated serum albumin (GmSA) targets the D-galactose receptor with higher binding affinity and has more conjugation sites available for rhodamineX than avidin. Experimental Design: GmSA was conjugated with 20 rhodamineX molecules (GmSA-20ROX) to create a self-quenching complex, which was compared with a conjugate consisting of GmSA and a single rhodamineX (GmSA-1ROX) in ex vivo chemical activation characteristics, intracellular activation, and in vivo molecular imaging for detecting peritoneal micrometastases of SHIN3 ovarian cancer. Results: GmSA-20ROX was five times brighter than GmSA-1ROX when incubated with SHIN3 ovarian cancer cells for 3 h. Submillimeter SHIN3 ovarian cancer implants in the peritoneal cavity were clearly visualized in vivo with spectral fluorescence imaging due to the high tumor-to-background ratio. The sensitivity and specificity of GmSA-20ROX for implant detection were determined by colocalization of the rhodamineX emission with red fluorescent protein expressed constitutively in the SHIN3 tumor implants. Among 336 lesions, sensitivity and specificity were 99%/99%, respectively, for GmSA-20ROX, whereas the results for GmSA-1ROX were only 24%/100% (n = 388), respectively, for lesions ∼ 0.8 mm or greater in diameter. Conclusion: Self-quenched GmSA-20ROX is more efficient than previous D-galactose - targeted fluorescent conjugates. ©2007 American Association for Cancer Research.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Hama Y; Urano Y; Koyama Y; Gunn AJ; Choyke PL; Kobayashi H
  • Start Page

  • 6335
  • End Page

  • 6343
  • Volume

  • 13
  • Issue

  • 21