Doctor of Philosophy, Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule (ETH Zurich) (2008)
Sanjiv Gambhir, Postdoctoral Faculty Sponsor
Aberrant microglial responses contribute to neuroinflammation in many neurodegenerative diseases, but no current therapies target pathogenic microglia. We discovered unexpectedly that the antiviral drug ganciclovir (GCV) inhibits the proliferation of microglia in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a mouse model for multiple sclerosis (MS), as well as in kainic acid-induced excitotoxicity. In EAE, GCV largely prevented infiltration of T lymphocytes into the central nervous system (CNS) and drastically reduced disease incidence and severity when delivered before the onset of disease. In contrast, GCV treatment had minimal effects on peripheral leukocyte distribution in EAE and did not inhibit generation of antibodies after immunization with ovalbumin. Additionally, a radiolabeled analogue of penciclovir, [(18)F]FHBG, which is similar in structure to GCV, was retained in areas of CNS inflammation in EAE, but not in naive control mice, consistent with the observed therapeutic effects. Our experiments suggest GCV may have beneficial effects in the CNS beyond its antiviral properties.
View details for DOI 10.1084/jem.20120696
View details for PubMedID 24493798
Both chronic and neuropathic pain conditions are associated with increased expression of certain voltage-gated sodium ion channel (NaV) isoforms in peripheral sensory neurons. A method for noninvasive imaging of these channels could represent a powerful tool for investigating aberrant expression of NaV and its role in pain pathogenesis. Herein, we describe the synthesis and evaluation of a positron emission tomography (PET) radiotracer targeting NaVs, the design of which is based on the potent, NaV-selective inhibitor saxitoxin. Both autoradiography analysis of sciatic nerves excised from injured rats as well as whole animal PET-MR imaging demonstrate that a systemically administered [(18)F]-labeled saxitoxin derivative concentrates at the site of nerve injury, consistent with upregulated sodium channel expression following axotomy. This type of PET agent has potential use for serial monitoring of channel expression levels at injured nerves throughout wound healing and/or following drug treatment. Such information may be correlated with pain behavioral analyses to help shed light on the complex molecular processes that underlie pain sensation.
View details for DOI 10.1021/ja408300e
View details for Web of Science ID 000328100000002
View details for PubMedID 24261833
Up-regulation of the folding machinery of the heat-shock protein 90 (Hsp90) chaperone protein is crucial for cancer progression. The two Hsp90 isoforms (? and ?) play different roles in response to chemotherapy. To identify isoform-selective inhibitors of Hsp90(?/?)/cochaperone p23 interactions, we developed a dual-luciferase (Renilla and Firefly) reporter system for high-throughput screening (HTS) and monitoring the efficacy of Hsp90 inhibitors in cell culture and live mice. HTS of a 30,176 small-molecule chemical library in cell culture identified a compound, N-(5-methylisoxazol-3-yl)-2-[4-(thiophen-2-yl)-6-(trifluoromethyl)pyrimidin-2-ylthio]acetamide (CP9), that binds to Hsp90(?/?) and displays characteristics of Hsp90 inhibitors, i.e., degradation of Hsp90 client proteins and inhibition of cell proliferation, glucose metabolism, and thymidine kinase activity, in multiple cancer cell lines. The efficacy of CP9 in disrupting Hsp90(?/?)/p23 interactions and cell proliferation in tumor xenografts was evaluated by non-invasive, repetitive Renilla luciferase and Firefly luciferase imaging, respectively. At 38 h posttreatment (80 mg/kg × 3, i.p.), CP9 led to selective disruption of Hsp90?/p23 as compared with Hsp90?/p23 interactions. Small-animal PET/CT in the same cohort of mice showed that CP9 treatment (43 h) led to a 40% decrease in (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose uptake in tumors relative to carrier control-treated mice. However, CP9 did not lead to significant degradation of Hsp90 client proteins in tumors. We performed a structural activity relationship study with 62 analogs of CP9 and identified A17 as the lead compound that outperformed CP9 in inhibiting Hsp90(?/?)/p23 interactions in cell culture. Our efforts demonstrated the power of coupling of HTS with multimodality molecular imaging and led to identification of Hsp90 inhibitors.
View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1205459109
View details for Web of Science ID 000309208000012
View details for PubMedID 22895790
The gastrin-releasing peptide receptor (GRPr) is overexpressed on various human tumors. The goal of our study was the synthesis of new 18F-labeled bombesin analogues for the PET imaging of GRPr expression in prostate tumor using a silicon-based one-step n. c. a. radiolabeling method. The silicon-containing building blocks were efficiently coupled to the N-terminus of the peptides via solid-phase synthesis. Radiolabeling of the obtained peptide precursors proceeded smoothly under acidic conditions (34-85% conversion). Using the di-tert-butyl silyl building block as labeling moiety, products containing a hydrolytically stable 18F-label were obtained. In in vitro receptor binding experiments 2-(4-(di-tert-butylfluorosilyl)phenyl)acetyl-Arg-Ava-Gln-Trp-Ala-Val-NMeGly-His-Sta-Leu-NH 2 ( 4b, IC50 = 22.9 nM) displayed a 12-fold higher binding affinity than 2-(4-(di-tert-butylfluorosilyl)phenyl)acetyl-Arg-Ava-Gln-Trp-Ala-Val-Gly-His(3Me)-Sta-Leu-NH2 ( 3b, IC50 = 276.6 nM), and 4b was therefore chosen for further evaluation. In vitro and ex vivo metabolite studies of [18F]4b showed no significant degradation. In biodistribution experiments, tumor uptake of [18F]4b was low and unspecific, whereas the GRPr-rich pancreas revealed a high and specific accumulation of the radiotracer. This study demonstrates the applicability of our silicon-based one-step n. c. a. radiolabeling method for the synthesis of new 18F-labeled bombesin derivatives. This innovative approach represents a general, straightforward access to radiolabeled peptides as PET imaging probes.
View details for DOI 10.1021/bc800157h
View details for Web of Science ID 000259358000017
View details for PubMedID 18754574
The Stille reaction with 4-[(18)F]fluoroiodobenzene as a novel approach for the synthesis of radiotracers for monitoring COX-2 expression by means of PET has been developed. Optimized reaction conditions were elaborated by screening of various catalyst systems and solvents. By using optimized reaction conditions (18)F-labelled COX-2 inhibitors [(18)F]-5 and [(18)F]-13 could be obtained in radiochemical yields of up to 94% and 68%, respectively, based upon 4-[(18)F]fluoroiodobenzene.
View details for DOI 10.1039/b412871k
View details for Web of Science ID 000226593700019
View details for PubMedID 15678189