Design, synthesis and biological evaluation of a multifunctional HER2-specific Affibody molecule for molecular imaging

  • Thuy A. Tran
  • Daniel Rosik
  • Lars Abrahmsén
  • Mattias Sandström
  • Anna Sjöberg
  • Helena Wållberg
  • Sara Ahlgren
  • Anna Orlova
  • Vladimir Tolmachev
Original Article



The purpose of this study was to design and evaluate a novel platform for labelling of Affibody molecules, enabling both recombinant and synthetic production and site-specific labelling with 99mTc or trivalent radiometals.


The HER2-specific Affibody molecule PEP05352 was made by peptide synthesis. The chelator sequence SECG (serine-glutamic acid-cysteine-glycine) was anchored on the C-terminal to allow 99mTc labelling. The cysteine can alternatively serve as a conjugation site of the chelator DOTA for indium labelling. The resulting 99mTc- and 111In-labelled Affibody molecules were evaluated both in vitro and in vivo.


Both conjugates retained their capacity to bind to HER2 receptors in vitro and in vivo. The tumour to blood ratio in LS174T xenografts was 30 at 4 h post-injection for both conjugates. Biodistribution data showed that the 99mTc-labelled Affibody molecule had a fourfold lower kidney accumulation compared with the 111In-labelled Affibody molecule while the accumulation in other organs was similar. Gamma camera imaging of the conjugates could clearly visualise the tumours 4 h after injection.


Incorporation of the C-terminal SECG sequence in Affibody molecules provides a general multifunctional platform for site-specific labelling with different nuclides (technetium, indium, gallium, cobalt or yttrium) and for a flexible production (chemical synthesis or recombinant).


HER2 Affibody molecules Peptide synthesis Imaging 



This research was financially supported by grant from the Swedish Cancer Society (Cancerfonden).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thuy A. Tran
    • 1
  • Daniel Rosik
    • 2
  • Lars Abrahmsén
    • 2
  • Mattias Sandström
    • 3
  • Anna Sjöberg
    • 2
  • Helena Wållberg
    • 4
  • Sara Ahlgren
    • 5
  • Anna Orlova
    • 1
    • 2
  • Vladimir Tolmachev
    • 1
    • 2
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Radiology, Oncology and Clinical Immunology, Rudbeck LaboratoryUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden
  2. 2.Affibody ABBrommaSweden
  3. 3.Hospital Physics, Department of OncologyUppsala University HospitalUppsalaSweden
  4. 4.School of Biotechnology, Division of Molecular BiotechnologyRoyal Institute of TechnologyStockholmSweden
  5. 5.Division of Nuclear Medicine, Department of Medical SciencesUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden

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