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HDAC6 Brain Mapping with [18F]Bavarostat Enabled by a Ru-Mediated Deoxyfluorination


Ritter,  Tobias
Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University;
Research Department Ritter, Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung, Max Planck Society;
Division of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital;

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Strebl, M. G., Campbell, A. J., Zhao, W.-N., Schroeder, F. A., Riley, M. M., Chindavong, P. S., et al. (2017). HDAC6 Brain Mapping with [18F]Bavarostat Enabled by a Ru-Mediated Deoxyfluorination. ACS Central Science, 3(9), 1006-1014. doi:10.1021/acscentsci.7b00274.

Histone deacetylase 6 (HDAC6) function and dysregulation have been implicated in the etiology of certain cancers and more recently in central nervous system (CNS) disorders including Rett syndrome, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, and major depressive disorder. HDAC6-selective inhibitors have therapeutic potential, but in the CNS drug space the development of highly brain penetrant HDAC inhibitors has been a persistent challenge. Moreover, no tool exists to directly characterize HDAC6 and its related biology in the living human brain. Here, we report a highly brain penetrant HDAC6 inhibitor, Bavarostat, that exhibits excellent HDAC6 selectivity (>80-fold over all other Zn-containing HDAC paralogues), modulates tubulin acetylation selectively over histone acetylation, and has excellent brain penetrance. We further demonstrate that Bavarostat can be radiolabeled with 18F by deoxyfluorination through in situ formation of a ruthenium π-complex of the corresponding phenol precursor: the only method currently suitable for synthesis of [18F]Bavarostat. Finally, by using [18F]Bavarostat in a series of rodent and nonhuman primate imaging experiments, we demonstrate its utility for mapping HDAC6 in the living brain, which sets the stage for first-in-human neurochemical imaging of this important target.