DOI: 10.1186/s41181-018-0045-0Pages: 1-20

Synthesis, radiosynthesis, in vitro and first in vivo evaluation of a new matrix metalloproteinase inhibitor based on γ-fluorinated α-sulfonylaminohydroxamic acid

1. University of Münster, European Institute for Molecular Imaging

2. University Hospital Münster, Department of Nuclear Medicine

3. Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Organisch-Chemisches Institut

4. University of Münster, Cells in Motion’ Cluster of Excellence

5. Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc.

6. University Hospital, Ruhr University Bochum, Present Address: Institute for Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, Heart and Diabetes Center North Rhine Westphalia

7. Present Address: German Cancer Research Center (dkfz), Division of Radiopharmaceutical Chemistry

Correspondence to:
Günter Haufe
Tel: +49-2518333281




To study MMP activity in vivo in disease, several radiolabeled MMP inhibitors functioning as radiotracers have been evaluated by means of SPECT and PET. Unfortunately, most of them suffer from metabolic instability, mainly hepatobiliary clearance and insufficient target binding. The introduction of a fluorine atom into MMPIs could contribute to target binding, enhance the metabolic stability and might shift the clearance towards more renal elimination. Recently developed α-sulfonylaminohydroxamic acid based γ-fluorinated inhibitors of MMP-2 and -9 provide promising fluorine interactions with the enzyme active site and high MMP inhibition potencies. The aim of this study is the (radio)synthesis of a γ-fluorinated MMP-2 and -9 inhibitor to evaluate its potential as a radiotracer to image MMP activity in vivo.


Two new fluorine-containing, enantiomerically pure inhibitors for MMP-2 and -9 were synthesized in a six step sequence. Both enantiomers exhibited equal inhibition potencies in the low nanomolar and subnanomolar range. LogD value indicated better water solubility compared to the CGS 25966 based analog. The most potent inhibitor was successfully radiofluorinated. In vivo biodistribution in wild type mice revealed predominantly hepatobiliary clearance. Two major radioactive metabolites were found in different organs. Defluorination of the radiotracer was not observed.


(Radio)synthesis of a CGS based γ-fluorinated MMP inhibitor was successfully accomplished. The (S)-enantiomer, which normally shows no biological activity, also exhibited high MMP inhibition potencies, which may be attributed to additional interactions of fluorine with enzyme’s active site. Despite higher hydrophilicity no significant differences in the clearance characteristics compared to non-fluorinated MMPIs was observed. Metabolically stabilizing effect of the fluorine was not monitored in vivo in wild type mice.

This article is freely available, click here to access the full text/PDF

  • Accepted: Jul 2, 2018
  • Online: Jul 27, 2018

Article Tools