389. Quinazoline-2-Carboxamides as Selective PET Radiotracers for Matrix Metalloproteinase-13 Imaging in Atherosclerosis

Ariel Buchler, Uzair S. Ismailani, Nicole MacMullin, Faduma Abdirahman, Myriam Adi, Christina Bi, Catherine Jany, Jeffrey W. Keillor and Benjamin H. Rotstein; Journal of Medicinal Chemistry (2023); DOI: 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.2c02107

Matrix metalloproteinase-13 (MMP-13) plays a critical role in the progression of unstable atherosclerosis. A series of highly potent and selective MMP-13 inhibitors were synthesized around a quinazoline-2-carboxamide scaffold to facilitate radiolabeling with fluorine-18 or carbon-11 positron-emitting nuclides and visualization of atherosclerotic plaques. In vitro enzyme inhibition assays identified three compounds as promising radiotracer candidates. Efficient automated radiosyntheses provided [11C]5b, [11C]5f, and [18F]5j and enabled pharmacokinetic characterization in atherosclerotic mice. The radiotracers displayed substantial differences in their distribution and excretion. Most favorably for vascular imaging, [18F]5j exhibited low uptake in metabolic organs with minimal retention of myocardial radioactivity, substantial renal clearance, and high metabolic stability in plasma. Ex vivo aortic autoradiography and competition studies revealed that [18F]5j specifically binds to MMP-13 within atherosclerotic plaques and localizes to lipid-rich regions. This study demonstrates the utility of the quinazoline-2-carboxamide scaffold for MMP-13 selective positron emission tomography (PET) radiotracer development and identifies [18F]5j for imaging atherosclerosis.