In vivo imaging of Aminopeptidase N (CD13) receptors in experimental renal tumors using the novel radiotracer68Ga-NOTA-c(NGR)

Gábor Máté, István Kertész, Kata Nóra Enyedi, Gábor Mezo, János Angyal, Nikolett Vasas, Adrienn Kis, Éva Szabó, Miklós Emri, Tamás Bíró, László Galuska, György Trencsényi

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26 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Aminopeptidase N (APN/CD13) plays an important role in tumor neoangiogenic process and the development of metastases. Furthermore, it may serve as a potential target for cancer diagnosis and therapy. Previous studies have already shown that asparagine-glycine-arginine (NGR) peptides specifically bind to APN/CD13. The aim of the study was to synthesize and investigate the APN/CD13 specificity of a novel 68Ga-labeled NOTA-c(NGR) molecule in vivo using miniPET. Methods: c[KNGRE]-NH2 peptide was conjugated with p-SCN-Bn-NOTA and was labeled with Ga-68 (68Ga-NOTA-c(NGR)). Orthotopic and heterotopic transplanted mesoblastic nephroma (NeDe) bearing Fischer-344 rats were prepared, on which biodistribution studies and miniPET scans were performed for both 68Ga-NOTA-c(NGR) and ανβ3 integrin selective 68Ga-NODAGA-[c(RGD)]2 tracers. APN/CD13 receptor expression of NeDe tumors and metastases was analyzed by western blot. Results: 68Ga-NOTA-c(NGR) was produced with high specific activity (5.13-5.92 GBq/μmol) and with excellent radiochemical purity (95%<), at all cases. Biodistribution studies in normal rats showed that uptake of the 68Ga-NOTA-c(NGR) was significantly (p ≤ 0.05) lower in abdominal organs in comparison with 68Ga-NODAGA-[c(RGD)]2. Both radiotracers were mainly excreted from the kidney. In NeDe tumor bearing rats higher 68Ga-NOTA-c(NGR) accumulation was found in the tumors than that of the 68Ga-NOD-AGA-[c(RGD)]2. Using orthotopic transplantation, metastases were developed which showed specific 68Ga-NOTA-c(NGR) uptake. Western blot analysis confirmed the presence of APN/CD13 expression in NeDe tumors and metastases. Conclusion: Our novel radiotracer 68Ga-NOTA-c(NGR) showed specific binding to the APN/CD13 expressed ortho- and heterotopic transplanted NeDe tumors. Therefore, 68Ga-NOTA-c(NGR) is a suitable tracer for the detection of APN/CD13 positive tumors and metastases in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-71
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Publication statusPublished - Mar 10 2015


  • Aminopeptidase N (CD13) expression
  • Ga-NODAGA-[c(RGD)]
  • Ga-NOTA-c(NGR)
  • Positron emission tomography
  • Renal tumors
  • Tumor angiogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science

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