Homologous Structural, Chemical, and Biological Behavior of Sc and Lu Complexes of the Picaga Bifunctional Chelator: Toward Development of Matched Theranostic Pairs for Radiopharmaceutical Applications

Academic Article


  • © 2020 American Chemical Society. The radioactive isotopes scandium-44/47 and lutetium-177 are gaining relevance for radioimaging and radiotherapy, resulting in a surge of studies on their coordination chemistry and subsequent applications. Although the trivalent ions of these elements are considered close homologues, dissimilar chemical behavior is observed when they are complexed by large ligand architectures due to discrepancies between Lu(III) and Sc(III) ions with respect to size, chemical hardness, and Lewis acidity. Here, we demonstrate that Lu and Sc complexes of 1,4-bis(methoxycarbonyl)-7-[(6-carboxypyridin-2-yl)methyl]-1,4,7-triazacyclononane (H3mpatcn) and its corresponding bioconjugate picaga-DUPA can be employed to promote analogous structural features and, subsequently, biological properties for coordination complexes of these ions. The close homology was evidenced using potentiometric methods, computational modeling, variable temperature mass spectrometry, and pair distribution function analysis of X-ray scattering data. Radiochemical labeling, in vitro stability, and biodistribution studies with Sc-47 and Lu-177 indicate that the 7-coordinate ligand environment of the bifunctional picaga ligand is compatible with biological applications and the future investigation of β-emitting, picaga-chelated Sc and Lu isotopes for radiotherapy.
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  • Vaughn BA; Koller AJ; Chen Z; Ahn SH; Loveless CS; Cingoranelli SJ; Yang Y; Cirri A; Johnson CJ; Lapi SE