Simultaneous Photoradiochemical Labeling of Antibodies for Immuno-Positron Emission Tomography

Malay Patra, Simon Klingler, Larissa S. Eichenberger, Jason P. Holland*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A method for the simultaneous (one-step) photochemical conjugation and 89Zr-radiolabeling of antibodies is introduced. A photoactivatable chelate based on the functionalization of desferrioxamine B with an arylazide moiety (DFO-ArN3, [1]) was synthesized. The radiolabeled complex, 89Zr-1+, was produced and characterized. Density functional theory calculations were used to investigate the mechanism of arylazide photoactivation. 89Zr-radiolabeling experiments were also used to determine the efficiency of photochemical conjugation. A standard two-step approach gave a measured conjugation efficiency of 3.5% ± 0.4%. In contrast, the one-step process gave a higher photoradiolabeling efficiency of ∼76%. Stability measurements, cellular saturation binding assays, positron emission tomographic imaging, and biodistribution studies in mice bearing SK-OV-3 tumors confirmed the biochemical viability and tumor specificity of photoradiolabeled [89Zr]ZrDFO-azepin-trastuzumab. Experimental data support the conclusion that the combination of photochemistry and radiochemistry is a viable strategy for producing radiolabeled proteins for imaging and therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)416-431
Number of pages16
StatePublished - 29 Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Density Functional Theory (DFT)
  • Medical Imaging
  • Radiochemicals


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