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Different Efflux Transporter Affinity and Metabolism of 99mTc-2-Methoxyisobutylisonitrile and 99mTc-Tetrofosmin for Multidrug Resistance Monitoring in Cancer

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Little is known about the affinity and stability of 99mTc-labeled 2-methoxyisobutylisonitrile (99mTc-MIBI) and tetrofosmin (99mTc-TF) for imaging of multiple drug resistance transporters in cancer. We examined the affinity of 99mTc-labeled compounds for these transporters and their stability.


99mTc-MIBI and 99mTc-TF were incubated in vesicles expressing P-glycoprotein (MDR1), multidrug resistance-associated protein (MRP)1–4, or breast cancer resistance protein with and without verapamil (MDR1 inhibitor) or MK-571 (MRP inhibitor). Time activity curves of 99mTc-labeled compounds were established using SK-N-SH neuroblastoma, SK-MEL-28 melanoma, and PC-3 prostate adenocarcinoma cell lines, and transporter expression of multiple drug resistance was measured in these cells. The stability was evaluated.


In vesicles, 99mTc-labeled compounds had affinity for MDR1 and MRP1. 99mTc-TF had additional affinity for MRP2 and MRP3. In SK-N-SH cells expressing MDR1 and MRP1, MK-571 produced the highest uptake of both 99mTc-labeled compounds. 99mTc-MIBI uptake with inhibitors was higher than 99mTc-TF uptake with inhibitors. 99mTc-TF was taken up more in SK-MEL-28 cells expressing MRP1 and MRP2 than PC-3 cells expressing MRP1 and MRP3. 99mTc-MIBI was metabolized, whereas 99mTc-TF had high stability.


99mTc-MIBI is exported via MDR1 and MRP1 (MRP1 > MDR1) at greater levels and more quickly compared to 99mTc-TF, which is exported via MDR1 and MRP1–3 (MRP1 > MDR1; MRP1, 2 > MRP3). Because 99mTc-MIBI is metabolized, clinical imaging for monitoring MDR and shorter examination times may be possible with an earlier scanning time on late phase imaging. 99mTc-TF has high stability and accurately reflects the function of MDR1 and MRP1–3.

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Correspondence to Masato Kobayashi.

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Kobayashi, M., Tsujiuchi, T., Okui, Y. et al. Different Efflux Transporter Affinity and Metabolism of 99mTc-2-Methoxyisobutylisonitrile and 99mTc-Tetrofosmin for Multidrug Resistance Monitoring in Cancer. Pharm Res 36, 18 (2019).

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