Isomerism in Benzyl-DOTA Derived Bifunctional Chelators: Implications for Molecular Imaging
The authors thank Portland State University for financial support of this work.
The bifunctional chelator IB-DOTA has found use in a range of biomedical applications given its ability to chelate many metal ions, but in particular the lanthanide(III) ions. Gd3+ in particular is of interest in the development of new molecular imaging agents for MRI and is highly suitable for chelation by IB-DOTA. Given the long-term instability of the aryl isothiocyanate functional group we have used the more stable nitro derivative (NB-DOTA) to conduct a follow-up study of some of our previous work on the coordination chemistry of chelates of these BFCs. Using a combination of NMR and HPLC to study the Eu3+ and Yb3+ chelates of NB-DOTA, we have demonstrated that this ligand will produce two discrete regioisomeric chelates at the point at which the metal ion is introduced into the BFC. These regioisomers are defined by the position of the benzylic substituent on the macrocyclic ring: adopting an equatorial position either at the corner or the side of the  ring conformation. These regioisomers are incapable of interconversion and are distinct, separate structures with different SAP/TSAP ratios. The side isomer exhibits an increased population of the TSAP isomer, pointing to more rapid water exchange kinetics in this regioisomer. This has potential ramifications for the use of these two regioisomers of Gd3+-BFC chelates in MRI applications. We have also found that, remarkably, there is little or no freedom of rotation about the first single bond extending from the macrocyclic ring to the benzylic substituent. Since this is the linkage through which the chelate is conjugated to the remainder of the molecular imaging probe, this result implies that there may be reduced local rotation of the Gd3+ chelate within a molecular imaging probe. This implies that this type of BFC could exhibit higher relaxivities than other types of BFC.
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Payne, K.M. and Woods, M. (2015). Isomerism in Benzyl-DOTA Derived Bifunctional Chelators: Implications for Molecular Imaging. Bioconjugate. Chem., (2015), 26, 338–344.