Enzymatic radiosynthesis of an isotope-labelled halogenated sugar

Published on July 3, 2013

5-[18F]Fluoro-5-deoxyribose ([18F]FDR) is a novel monosaccharide radiotracer produced by a two-enzyme biotransformation, at the John Mallard Scottish PET Centre in Aberdeen, UK. The two-step process uses fluorinase, a C-F bond forming enzyme, and a nucleoside hydrolase. In the first step, S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAM) and [18F]-fluoride are incubated with the fluorinase enzyme. The product of this reaction, [18F]-5′-fluoro-5′-deoxadenosine ([18F]FDA) is incubated with an adenosine hydrolase to generate [18F]FDR. The enzymes were produced and freeze-dried by the O’Hagan group at St Andrews University, and were used on demand by dissolution in water.

Zanda Group | University of Aberdeen, UK

Professor Matteo Zanda holds a Personal Chair in Medical Technologies at the University of Aberdeen, UK and leads a research group working at the interface between organic/biological chemistry and biomedical sciences, with a focus on molecular imaging, including PET imaging.

Dr. Sergio Dall’Angelo is a SINAPSE Research Fellow involved in the radiosynthesis of 18F-FDR and other PET tracers at the John Mallard Scottish PET centre in Aberdeen.

Professor David O’Hagan is Head of Organic Chemistry at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. He is interested in organo-fluorine chemistry and biochemistry, and his lab has led the development of enzymatic fluorination and its application as a catalyst for the synthesis of new imaging molecules for positron emission tomography.


The original research article is published in the journal Chemical Communications.

Li, X.-G.; Dall’Angelo, S.; Schweiger, L. F.; Zanda, M.; O’Hagan, D., [18F]-5-Fluoro-5-deoxyribose, an efficient peptide bioconjugation ligand for positron emission tomography (PET) imaging, Chem. Commun., 2012, 48, 5247–5249. doi:10.1039/C2CC31262J

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