Benefit of later-time-point PET imaging of her3 expression using optimized radiocobalt-labeled affibody molecules

Sara S. Rinne, Charles Dahlsson Leitao, Zahra Saleh-Nihad, Bogdan Mitran, Vladimir Tolmachev, Stefan Ståhl, John Löfblom, Anna Orlova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


HER3-binding affibody molecules are a promising format for visualization of HER3 expression. Cobalt-55, a positron-emitting isotope, with a half-life of 17.5 h, allows for next-day imaging. We investigated the influence of the charge of the radiocobalt–chelator complex on the biodistribution of anti-HER3 affibody molecule (HE)3-ZHER3 and compared the best radiocobalt-labeled variant with a recently optimized gallium-labeled variant. Affibody conjugates (HE)3-ZHER3-X (X = NOTA, NODAGA, DOTA, DOTAGA) were labeled with [57Co]Co (surrogate for55Co). Affinity measurements, binding specificity and cellular processing were studied in two HER3-expressing cancer cell lines. Biodistribution was studied 3 and 24 h post-injection (pi) in mice with HER3-expressing BxPC-3 xenografts and compared to [68Ga]Ga-(HE)3-ZHER3-NODAGA. Micro-single-photon emission tomography/computed tomography (microSPECT/CT) and micro-positron emission tomography/computed tomography (microPET/CT) imaging was performed 3 and 24 h pi. Stably labeled conjugates bound to HER3 with subnanomolar affinity. [57Co]Co-(HE)3-ZHER3-DOTA had the best tumor retention and a significantly lower concentration in blood than other conjugates, leading to superior tumor-to-blood and tumor-to-liver ratios 24 h pi. Compared to [68Ga]Ga-(HE)3-ZHER3-NODAGA 3 h pi, [57Co]Co-(HE)3-ZHER3-DOTA provided superior imaging contrast in liver 24 h pi. Concluding, the composition and charge of the [57Co]Co–chelator complex influenced the uptake in tumors and normal tissue. [57Co]Co-(HE)3-ZHER3-DOTA provided the best imaging properties among the cobalt-labeled conjugates. Delayed imaging of HER3 expression with [57Co]Co-(HE)3-ZHER3-DOTA improved imaging contrast compared to early-time-point imaging with [68Ga]Ga-(HE)3-ZHER3-NODAGA.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1972
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020


  • Affibody
  • Cobalt-55
  • DOTA
  • Gallium-68
  • HER3
  • NOTA
  • PET
  • Radiocobalt

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry

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