Synthesis of enantiopure 18F-trifluoromethyl cysteine as a structure-mimetic amino acid tracer for glioma imaging
Although 11 C-labelled sulfur-containing amino acids (SAAs) including L-methyl-[ 11 C]methionine and S-[ 11 C]-methyl-L-cysteine, are attractive tracers for glioma positron emission tomography (PET) imaging, their applications are limited by the short half-life of the radionuclide 11 C (t1/2 = 20.4 min). However, development of 18 F-labelled SAAs ( 18 F, t1/2 = 109.8 min) without significant structural changes or relying on prosthetic groups remains to be a great challenge due to the absence of
... e to the absence of adequate space for chemical modification. Methods: We herein present 18 F-trifluoromethylated D-and L-cysteines which were designed by replacing the methyl group with 18 F-trifluoromethyl group using a structure-based bioisosterism strategy. These two enantiomers were synthesized stereoselectively from serine-derived cyclic sulfamidates via a nucleophilic 18 F-trifluoromethylthiolation reaction followed by a deprotection reaction. Furthermore, we conducted preliminary in vitro and in vivo studies to investigate the feasibility of using 18 F-trifluoromethylated cysteines as PET tracers for glioma imaging. Results: The two-step radiosynthesis provided the desired products in excellent enantiopurity (ee > 99%) with 14% ± 3% of radiochemical yield. In vitro cell study demonstrated that both enantiomers were taken up efficiently by C6 tumor cells and were mainly transported by systems L and ASC. Among them, the D-enantiomer exhibited relatively good stability and high tumor-specific accumulation in the animal studies. Conclusion: Our findings indicate that 18 F-trifluoromethylated D-cysteine, a new SAA tracer, may be a potential candidate for glioma imaging. Taken together, our study represents a first step toward developing 18 F-trifluoromethylated cysteines as structure-mimetic tracers for PET tumor imaging.