Improved targeting of the alpha(v)beta (3) integrin by multimerisation of RGD peptides

Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2007 Feb;34(2):267-73. doi: 10.1007/s00259-006-0180-9. Epub 2006 Aug 15.


Purpose: The integrin alpha(v)beta(3) is expressed on sprouting endothelial cells and on various tumour cell types. Due to the restricted expression of alpha(v)beta(3) in tumours, alpha(v)beta(3) is considered a suitable receptor for tumour targeting. In this study the alpha(v)beta(3) binding characteristics of an (111)In-labelled monomeric, dimeric and tetrameric RGD analogue were compared.

Methods: A monomeric (E-c(RGDfK)), dimeric (E-[c(RGDfK)](2)), and tetrameric (E{E[c(RGDfK)](2)}(2)) RGD peptide were synthesised, conjugated with DOTA and radiolabelled with (111)In. In vitro alpha(v)beta(3) binding characteristics were determined in a competitive binding assay. In vivo alpha(v)beta(3) targeting characteristics of the compounds were assessed in mice with SK-RC-52 xenografts.

Results: The IC(50) values for DOTA-E-c(RGDfK), DOTA-E-[c(RGDfK)](2), and DOTA-E{E[c(RGDfK)](2)}(2)were 120 nM, 69.9 nM and 19.6 nM, respectively. At all time points, the tumour uptake of the dimer was significantly higher as compared to that of the monomer. At 8 h p.i., tumour uptake of the tetramer (7.40+/-1.12%ID/g) was significantly higher than that of the monomer (2.30+/-0.34%ID/g), p<0.001, and the dimer (5.17+/-1.22%ID/g), p<0.05. At 24 h p.i., the tumour uptake was significantly higher for the tetramer (6.82+/-1.41%ID/g) than for the dimer (4.22+/-0.96%ID/g), p<0.01, and the monomer (1.90+/-0.29%ID/g), p<0.001.

Conclusion: Multimerisation of c(RGDfK) resulted in enhanced affinity for alpha(v)beta(3) as determined in vitro. Tumour uptake of a tetrameric RGD peptide was significantly higher than that of the monomeric and dimeric analogues, presumably owing to the enhanced statistical likelihood for rebinding to alpha(v)beta(3).

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dimerization
  • Drug Delivery Systems / methods*
  • Female
  • Indium Radioisotopes / pharmacokinetics
  • Integrin alphaVbeta3 / metabolism*
  • Metabolic Clearance Rate
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / diagnostic imaging*
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / metabolism*
  • Oligopeptides / pharmacokinetics*
  • Organ Specificity
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / pharmacokinetics
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Indium Radioisotopes
  • Integrin alphaVbeta3
  • Oligopeptides
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • arginyl-glycyl-aspartic acid