MTH1 (MutT homolog 1) or NUDT1 (Nudix Hydrolase 1), also known as oxidized purine nucleoside triphosphatase, has potential as a biomarker for monitoring cancer progression and quantifying target engagement for relevant therapies. In this study, we validate one MTH1 inhibitor TH287 as a PET MTH1 radiotracer. TH287 was radiolabeled with tritium and the binding of [3H]TH287 to MTH1 was evaluated in live glioblastoma cells (U251MG) through saturation and competitive binding assays, together with in vitro enzymatic assays. Furthermore, TH287 was radiolabeled with carbon-11 for in vivo microPET studies. Saturation binding assays show that [3H]TH287 has a dissociation constant (Kd) of 1.97 ± 0.18 nM, Bmax of 2676 ± 122 fmol/mg protein for U251MG cells, and nH of 0.98 ± 0.02. Competitive binding assays show that TH287 (Ki: 3.04 ± 0.14 nM) has a higher affinity for MTH1 in U251MG cells compared to another well studied MTH1 inhibitor: (S)-crizotinib (Ki: 153.90 ± 20.48 nM). In vitro enzymatic assays show that TH287 has an IC50 of 2.2 nM in inhibiting MTH1 hydrolase activity and a Ki of 1.3 nM from kinetics assays, these results are consistent with our radioligand binding assays. Furthermore, MicroPET imaging shows that [11C]TH287 gets into the brain with rapid clearance from the brain, kidney, and heart. The results presented here indicate that radiolabeled TH287 has favorable properties to be a useful tool for measuring MTH1 in vitro and for further evaluation for in vivo PET imaging MTH1 of brain tumors and other central nervous system disorders.
Keywords: MTH1; PET; TH287; binding assay; radiotracer.