Microwave-assisted one-pot synthesis of N-succinimidyl-4[ ¹⁸F]fluorobenzoate ([¹⁸F]SFB).

Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE (2011-07-07)
Shuang Hou, Duy Linh Phung, Wei-Yu Lin, Ming-wei Wang, Kan Liu, Clifton Kwang-Fu Shen

Biomolecules, including peptides¹⁻⁹, proteins¹⁰⁻¹¹, and antibodies and their engineered fragments¹²⁻¹⁴, are gaining importance as both potential therapeutics and molecular imaging agents. Notably, when labeled with positron-emitting radioisotopes (e.g., Cu-64, Ga-68, or F-18), they can be used as probes for targeted imaging of many physiological and pathological processes.¹⁵⁻¹⁸ Therefore, significant effort has devoted to the synthesis and exploration of ¹⁸F-labeled biomolecules. Although there are elegant examples of the direct ¹⁸F-labeling of peptides,¹⁹⁻²² the harsh reaction conditions (i.e., organic solvent, extreme pH, high temperature) associated with direct radiofluorination are usually incompatible with fragile protein samples. To date, therefore, the incorporation of radiolabeled prosthetic groups into biomolecules remains the method of choice.²³(,)²⁴ N-Succinimidyl-4-[¹⁸F]fluorobenzoate ([¹⁸F]SFB),²⁵⁻³⁷ a Bolton-Hunter type reagent that reacts with the primary amino groups of biomolecules, is a very versatile prosthetic group for the ¹⁸F-labeling of a wide spectrum of biological entities, in terms of its evident in vivo stability and high radiolabeling yield. After labeling with [¹⁸F]SFB, the resulting [F]fluorobenzoylated biomolecules could be explored as potential PET tracers for in vivo imaging studies.¹ Most [¹⁸F]SFB radiosyntheses described in the current literatures require two or even three reactors and multiple purifications by using either solid phase extraction (SPE) or high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Such lengthy processes hamper its routine production and widespread applications in the radiolabeling of biomolecules. Although several module-assisted [¹⁸F]SFB syntheses have been reported²⁹⁻³²,⁴¹⁻⁴² they are mainly based on complicated and lengthy procedures using costly commercially-available radiochemistry boxes (Table 1). Therefore, further simplification of the radiosynthesis of [¹⁸F]SFB using a low-cost setup would be very beneficial for its adaption to an automated process. Herein, we report a concise preparation of [¹⁸F]SFB, based on a simplified one-pot microwave-assisted synthesis (Figure 1). Our approach does not require purification between steps or any aqueous reagents. In addition, microwave irradiation, which has been used in the syntheses of several PET tracers,³⁸⁻⁴¹ can gives higher RCYs and better selectivity than the corresponding thermal reactions or they provide similar yields in shorter reaction times.³⁸Most importantly, when labeling biomolecules, the time saved could be diverted to subsequent bioconjugation or PET imaging step. ²⁸(,)⁴³The novelty of our improved [¹⁸F]SFB synthesis is two-fold: (1) the anhydrous deprotection strategy requires no purification of intermediate(s) between each step and (2) the microwave-assisted radiochemical transformations enable the rapid, reliable production of [¹⁸F]SFB.

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Dimethyl sulfoxide, ACS reagent, ≥99.9%