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Keywords:

  • 18F-trans-cyclooctene;
  • cancer;
  • diabetes;
  • exendin-4;
  • insulinoma;
  • positron emission tomography

Abstract

A number of exendin derivatives have been developed to target glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptors on beta cells in vivo. Modifications of exendin analogues have been shown to have significant effects on pharmacokinetics and, as such, have been used to develop a variety of therapeutic compounds. Here, we show that an exendin-4, modified at position 12 with a cysteine conjugated to a tetrazine, can be labeled with 18F-trans-cyclooctene and converted into a PET imaging agent at high yields and with good selectivity. The agent accumulates in beta cells in vivo and has sufficiently high accumulation in mouse models of insulinomas to enable in vivo imaging.