Observations on the Effects of Residualization and Dehalogenation on the Utility of N-Succinimidyl Ester Acylation Agents for Radioiodination of the Internalizing Antibody Trastuzumab

Molecules. 2019 Oct 30;24(21):3907. doi: 10.3390/molecules24213907.


Trastuzumab is an antibody used for the treatment of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-overexpressing breast cancers. Since trastuzumab is an internalizing antibody, two factors could play an important role in achieving high uptake and prolonged retention of radioactivity in HER2-positive tumors after radioiodination-residualizing capacity after receptor-mediated internalization and susceptibility to dehalogenation. To evaluate the contribution of these two factors, trastuzumab was radiolabeled using the residualizing reagent N-succinimidyl 4-guanidinomethyl-3-[*I]iodobenzoate ([*I]SGMIB) and the nonresidualizing reagent N-succinimidyl-3-[*I]iodobenzoate ([*I]SIB), both of which are highly dehalogenation-resistant. Paired-label uptake and intracellular retention of [125I]SGMIB-trastuzumab and [131I]SIB-trastuzumab was compared on HER2-expressing BT474 human breast carcinoma cells. Tumor uptake and normal tissue distribution characteristics for the two labeled conjugates were assessed in mice bearing BT474M1 xenografts. The internalization and intracellular retention of initially-bound radioactivity in BT474 cells was similar for the two labeled conjugates up to 4 h, but were significantly higher for [125I]SGMIB-trastuzumab at 6 and 24 h. Similarly, [*I]SGMIB labeling resulted in significantly higher uptake and retention of radioactivity in BT474M1 xenografts at all studied time points. Moreover, tumor-to-tissue ratios for [125I]SGMIB-trastuzumab were consistently higher than those for [131I]SIB-trastuzumab starting at 12 h postinjection. Thus, optimal targeting of HER2-positive breast cancers with a radioiodinated trastuzumab conjugate requires an acylation agent that imparts residualizing capacity in addition to high stability towards dehalogenation in vivo.

Keywords: HER2; SGMIB; SIB; breast cancer; radioiodination; trastuzumab.

MeSH terms

  • Acylation
  • Animals
  • Benzoates / chemistry*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Guanidine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Guanidine / chemistry
  • Halogenation*
  • Humans
  • Iodine Radioisotopes / chemistry*
  • Mice
  • Quality Control
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Trastuzumab / therapeutic use*
  • Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays


  • Benzoates
  • Iodine Radioisotopes
  • N-succinimidyl 4-guanidinomethyl-3-iodobenzoate
  • Guanidine
  • Trastuzumab