Gallium-68-labelled NOTA-oligonucleotides: an optimized method for their preparation

Marlies Gijs, Sylvestre Dammicco, Corentin Warnier, An Aerts, Nathalie R. E. N. Impens, Matthias D'Huyvetter, Marc Leonard, Sarah Baatout, Andre Luxen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


One of the most essential aspects to the success of radiopharmaceuticals is an easy and reliable radiolabelling protocol to obtain pure and stable products. In this study, we optimized the bioconjugation and gallium-68 ((68) Ga) radiolabelling conditions for a single-stranded 40-mer DNA oligonucleotide, in order to obtain highly pure and stable radiolabelled oligonucleotides. Quantitative bioconjugation was obtained for a disulfide-functionalized oligonucleotide conjugated to the macrocylic bifunctional chelator MMA-NOTA (maleimido-mono-amide (1,4,7-triazanonane-1,4,7-triyl)triacetic acid). Next, this NOTA-oligonucleotide bioconjugate was radiolabelled at room temperature with purified and pre-concentrated (68) Ga with quantitative levels of radioactive incorporation and high radiochemical and chemical purity. In addition, high chelate stability was observed in physiological-like conditions (37?C, PBS and serum), in the presence of a transchelator (EDTA) and transferrin. A specific activity of 51.1?MBq/nmol was reached using a 1470-fold molar excess bioconjugate over (68) Ga. This study presents a fast, straightforward and reliable protocol for the preparation of (68) Ga-radiolabelled DNA oligonucleotides under mild reaction conditions and without the use of organic solvents. The methodology herein developed will be applied to the preparation of oligonucleotidic sequences (aptamers) targeting the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) for cancer imaging.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-71
JournalJournal of Labelled Compounds & Radiopharmaceuticals
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016


  • oligonucleotides
  • DNA
  • gallium-68
  • radiolabelling
  • bioconjugation
  • chelator
  • NOTA
  • macrocyclic
  • positron emission tomography
  • molecular imaging


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