Synthesis and in vivo evaluation of ¹⁸F-fluoroethyl GF120918 and XR9576 as positron emission tomography probes for assessing the function of drug efflux transporters

Bioorg Med Chem. 2011 Jan 15;19(2):861-70. doi: 10.1016/j.bmc.2010.12.004. Epub 2010 Dec 5.


The purpose of this study was to synthesize two new positron emission tomography (PET) probes, N-(4-(2-(1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-6,7-dimethoxy-2-isoquinolinyl)ethyl)phenyl)-9,10-dihydro-5-[¹⁸F]fluoroethoxy-9-oxo-4-acridine carboxamide ([¹⁸F]3) and quinoline-3-carboxylic acid [2-(4-{2-[7-(2-[¹⁸F]fluoroethoxy)-6-methoxy-3,4-dihydro-1H-isoquinolin-2-yl]ethyl}phenylcarbamoyl)-4,5-dimethoxyphenyl]amide ([¹⁸F]4), and to evaluate the potential of these PET probes for assessing the function of two major drug efflux transporters, P-glycoprotein (P-gp) and breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP). [¹⁸F]3 and [¹⁸F]4 were synthesized by ¹⁸F-alkylation of each O-desmethyl precursor with [¹⁸F]2-fluoroethyl bromide for injection as PET probes. In vitro accumulation assay showed that treatment with P-gp/BCRP inhibitors (1 and 2) enhanced the intracellular accumulation capacity of P-gp- and BCRP-overexpressing MES-SA/Dx5 cells. In PET studies, the uptake (AUC(brain[0-)₆₀ (min])) of [¹⁸F]3 and [¹⁸F]4 in wild-type mice co-injected with 1 were approximately sevenfold higher than that in wild-type mice, and the uptake of [¹⁸F]3 and [¹⁸F]4 in P-gp/Bcrp knockout mice were eight- to ninefold higher than that in wild-type mice. The increased uptake of [¹⁸F]3 and [¹⁸F]4 was similar to that of parent compounds ([¹¹C]1 and [¹¹C]2) previously described, indicating that radioactivity levels in the brain after injection of [¹⁸F]3 and [¹⁸F]4 are related to the function of drug efflux transporters. Also, these results suggest that the structural difference between parent compounds ([¹¹C]1 and [¹¹C]2) and fluoroethyl analogs ([¹⁸F]3 and [¹⁸F]4) do not obviously affect the potency against drug efflux transporters. In metabolite analysis of mice, the unchanged form in the brain and plasma at 60 min after co-injection of [¹⁸F]4 plus 1 were higher (95% for brain; 81% for plasma) than that after co-injection of [¹⁸F]3 plus 1. [¹⁸F]4 is a promising PET probe to assess the function of drug efflux transporters.

MeSH terms

  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B, Member 1 / antagonists & inhibitors
  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B, Member 1 / metabolism*
  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters / antagonists & inhibitors
  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters / metabolism*
  • Acridines / chemical synthesis*
  • Acridines / chemistry
  • Animals
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Fluorine Radioisotopes / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Molecular Probes / chemical synthesis*
  • Molecular Probes / chemistry
  • Positron-Emission Tomography*
  • Quinolines / chemical synthesis*
  • Quinolines / chemistry
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / chemical synthesis*
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / chemistry
  • Tetrahydroisoquinolines / chemical synthesis*
  • Tetrahydroisoquinolines / chemistry
  • Tissue Distribution


  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B, Member 1
  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters
  • Acridines
  • Fluorine Radioisotopes
  • Molecular Probes
  • Quinolines
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Tetrahydroisoquinolines
  • tariquidar
  • Elacridar