Introduction: Organic Anion Transporting Polypeptides (OATP) are a family of membrane associated transporters that facilitate estrone-3-sulphate (E3S) uptake by hormone dependent, post-menopausal breast cancers. We have established E3S as a potential ligand for targeting hormone dependent breast cancer cells, and in this study sought to prepare and investigate radioiodinated E3S as a tool to study the OATP system.
Methods: 2- and 4-Iodoestrone-3-sulfates were prepared from estrone via aromatic iodination followed by a rapid and high yielding sulfation procedure. The resulting isomers were separated by preparative HPLC and verified by (1)H NMR and analytical HPLC. Transport studies of 2- and 4-[(125)I]-E3S were conducted in hormone dependent (i.e. MCF-7) and hormone independent (i.e. MDA-MB-231) breast cancer cells in the presence or absence of the specific transport inhibitor, bromosulfophthalein (BSP). Cellular localization of OATP1A2, OATP2B1, OATP3A1 and OATP4A1 were determined by immunofluorescence analysis using anti-Na(+)/K(+) ATPase-α (1:100 dilution) and DAPI as plasma membrane and nuclear markers, respectively.
Results: Significantly (p<0.01) higher total accumulation of 2-[(125)I]-E3S was observed in hormone dependent MCF-7 as compared to hormone independent MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. In contrast 4-[(125)I]-E3S did not show cellular accumulation in either case. The efficiency of 2-[(125)I]-E3S transport (expressed as a ratio of Vmax/Km) was 2.4 times greater in the MCF-7 as compared to the MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. OATP1A2, OATP3A1 and OATP4A1 expression was localized in plasma membranes of MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells confirming the functional role of these transporters in radioiodinated E3S cellular uptake.
Conclusion: An efficient method for the preparation of 2- and 4-[(125)I]-E3S was developed and where the former demonstrated potential as an in vitro probe for the OATP system. The new E3S probe can be used to study the OATP system and as a platform to create radiopharmaceuticals for imaging breast cancer.
Keywords: Breast cancer; Estrone-3-sulfate; Iodine-125; Organic anion transporting polypeptide.
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