Conditionally cleavable radioimmunoconjugates: a novel approach for the release of radioisotopes from radioimmunoconjugates.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Bioconjugate chemistry, Volume 14, Issue 5, p.927-33 (2003)


Animals, Cell Line, Tumor, Humans, Immunoconjugates, MICE, Mice, Inbred NOD, Mice, SCID, Radioisotopes, TISSUE DISTRIBUTION, Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays


One of the limitations of therapy with radiolabeled monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) is that significant toxicities can arise from circulating non-tumor-bound radiolabeled conjugate. Here, we describe a new method to reduce systemic radiation exposure from radiolabeled mAbs involving the attachment of the radioisotope through a linker that can be cleaved by an administered enzyme. To demonstrate the feasibility of this approach, we prepared a conditionally cleavable radioimmunoconjugate (RIC) composed of (131)I-labeled cephalosporin conjugated to Tositumomab, a mAb against the CD20 antigen. The cleavable RIC bound antigen identically to directly iodinated antibody, and in the presence of beta-lactamase, about 80-85% of the radioisotope was released. In vivo studies in mice revealed that the cleavable RIC and the directly iodinated anti-CD20 antibody had similar biodistribution patterns. Systemically administered beta-lactamase induced a 2-3-fold decrease in the percent injected dose (ID) of the cleavable RIC/g of blood, marrow, spleen, lung, and liver 1 h after enzyme treatment, and a 4-6-fold decrease 20 h after enzyme treatment. This was accompanied by a 20-fold increase in % ID/g in urine 1 h after enzyme treatment, indicating that the released radiolabel was rapidly excreted through the kidneys. In mice with human tumor xenografts, there was no decrease in the %ID/g in tumor 1 h after enzyme treatment, but by 4 h after enzyme injection, decreases in tumor radioactive content began to diminish the targeting advantage. These studies demonstrate that the cleavable RIC substrate is able to bind to tumor antigens and localize within human tumor xenografts and that accelerated systemic clearance can be induced with beta-lactamase.