[18F]Fluoro-DCP, a first generation PET radiotracer for monitoring protein sulfenylation in vivo

Redox Biol. 2022 Feb;49:102218. doi: 10.1016/j.redox.2021.102218. Epub 2021 Dec 18.


Redox metabolism plays essential functions in the pathology of cancer and many other diseases. While several radiotracers for imaging redox metabolism have been developed, there are no reports of radiotracers for in vivo imaging of protein oxidation. Here we take the first step towards this goal and describe the synthesis and kinetic properties of a new positron emission tomography (PET) [18F]Fluoro-DCP radiotracer for in vivo imaging of protein sulfenylation. Time course biodistribution and PET/CT studies using xenograft animal models of Head and Neck Squamous Cell Cancer (HNSCC) demonstrate its capability to distinguish between tumors with radiation sensitive and resistant phenotypes consistent with previous reports of decreased protein sulfenylation in clinical specimens of radiation resistant HNSCC. We envision further development of this technology to aid research efforts towards improving diagnosis of patients with radiation resistant tumors.

Keywords: Head and Neck Squamous Cell Cancer; PET imaging; Protein sulfenylation; Radiation resistance; [18F]F-DCP.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms* / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Positron Emission Tomography Computed Tomography / methods
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18