Ultimate Chelator HOPO for Zirconium-89 (89Zr) based PET imaging agents
Zirconium-89 is an effective radionuclide for antibody-based positron emission tomography (PET) imaging because its physical half-life (78.41 h) matches the biological half-life of IgG antibodies. Desferrioxamine (DFO) is currently the preferred chelator for 89Zr4+; however, accumulation of 89Zr in the bones of mice suggests that 89Zr4+ is released from DFO in vivo. An improved chelator for 89Zr4+ could eliminate the release of osteophilic 89Zr4+ and lead to a safer PET tracer with reduced background radiation dose. Herein, we present an octadentate chelator 3,4,3-(LI-1,2-HOPO) (or HOPO Chelator, cas no.: 110874-36-7) as a potentially superior alternative to DFO. The HOPO ligand formed a 1:1 Zr-HOPO complex that was evaluated experimentally and theoretically. The stability of 89Zr-HOPO matched or surpassed that of 89Zr-DFO in every experiment. In healthy mice, 89Zr-HOPO cleared the body rapidly with no signs of demetalation. Ultimately, HOPO has the potential to replace DFO as the chelator of choice for 89Zr-based PET imaging agents.