Hypoxic microenvironment is a common situation in solid tumors. Carbonic anhydrase IX (CA9) is one of the reliable cellular biomarkers of hypoxia. The role of CA9 in colorectal cancer (CRC) remains to be clarified. CA9 inhibitor such as sulfonamides is known to block CA9 activation and reduce tumor growth consequently. Here, we aimed to investigate the CA9 expression in serum and tumor from different stages of CRC patients and utilize sulfonamide derivative with indium-111 labeling as a probe for CRC nuclear imaging detection in vivo. The serum CA9 was correlated with the tumor CA9 levels in different stages of CRC patients. Hypoxia increased cell viability and CA9 expression in colorectal cancer HCT-15 cells. Sulfonamide derivative 5-(2-aminoethyl)thiophene-2-sulfonamide (ATS) could bind with CA9 in vitro under hypoxia. Moreover, tumor tissues in HCT-15-induced xenograft mice possessed higher hypoxic fluorescence signal as compared with other organs. We also found that the radioisotope signal of indium-111 labeled ATS, which was utilized for CRC detection in HCT-15-induced xenograft mice, was markedly enhanced in tumors as compared with non-ATS control. Taken together, these findings suggest that CA9 is a potential hypoxic CRC biomarker and measurement of serum CA9 can be as a potential tool for diagnosing CA9 expressions in CRC clinical practice. The radioisotope-labeled sulfonamide derivative (ATS) may be useful to apply in CRC patients for nuclear medicine imaging.
Keywords: carbonic anhydrase IX; colorectal cancer; radioisotope-labeled; sulfonamide.