Gallium-68-labeled affibody molecule for PET Imaging of PDGFRβ Expression in Vivo

Joanna Strand, Zohreh Varasteh, Olof Eriksson, Lars Abrahmsen, Anna Orlova, Vladimir Tolmachev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Platelet-derived growth factor receptor β (PDGFRβ) is a transmembrane tyrosine kinase receptor involved, for example, in angiogenesis. Overexpression and excessive signaling of PDGFRβ has been observed in multiple malignant tumors and fibrotic diseases, making this receptor a pharmaceutical target for monoclonal antibodies and tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Successful targeted therapy requires identification of responding patients. Radionuclide molecular imaging would enable determination of the PDGFRβ status in all lesions using a single noninvasive repeatable procedure. Recently, we have demonstrated that the affibody molecule Z09591 labeled with 111In can specifically target PDGFRβ-expressing tumors in vivo. The use of positron emission tomography (PET) as an imaging technique would provide superior resolution, sensitivity, and quantitation accuracy. In this study, a DOTA-conjugated Z09591 was labeled with the generator-produced positron emitting radionuclide 68Ga (T1/2 = 67.6 min, Eβ + max = 1899 keV, 89% β+). 68Ga-DOTA-Z09591 retained the capacity to specifically bind to PDGFRβ-expressing U-87 MG glioma cells. The half-maximum inhibition concentration (IC50) of 68Ga-DOTA-Z09591 (6.6 ± 1.4 nM) was somewhat higher than that of 111In-DOTA-Z09591 (1.4 ± 1.2 nM). 68Ga-DOTA-Z09591 demonstrated specific (saturable) targeting of U-87 MG xenografts in immunodeficient mice. The tumor uptake at 2 h after injection was 3.7 ± 1.7% IA/g, which provided a tumor-to-blood ratio of 8.0 ± 3.1. The only organ with higher accumulation of radioactivity was the kidney. MicroPET imaging provided high-contrast imaging of U-87 MG xenografts. In conclusion, the 68Ga-labeled affibody molecule Z09591 is a promising candidate for further development as a probe for imaging PDGFRβ expression in vivo using PET.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3957-3964
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular Pharmaceutics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Affibody molecule
  • DPTA
  • Gallium-68
  • PDGFR beta
  • PET

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery

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