Carborane-conjugated 2-quinolinecarboxamide ligands of the translocator protein for boron neutron capture therapy

Andrea Cappelli, Salvatore Valenti, Alessandra Mancini, Germano Giuliani, Maurizio Anzini, Saverio Altieri, Silva Bortolussi, Cinzia Ferrari, Anna Maria Clerici, Cecilia Zonta, Fabio Carraro, Irene Filippi, Gianluca Giorgi, Alessandro Donati, Sandra Ristori, Salvatore Vomero, Alessandra Concas, Giovanni Biggio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Potential boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) agents have been designed on the basis of the evidence about translocator protein (TSPO) overexpression on the outer mitochondrial membrane of tumor cells. The structure of the first TSPO ligand bearing a carborane cage (compound 2d) has been modified in order to find a suitable candidate for in vivo studies. The designed compounds were synthesized and evaluated for their potential interaction with TSPO and tumor cells. In vitro biological evaluation showed in the case of fluoromethyl derivative 4b a nanomolar TSPO affinity very similar to that of 2d, a significantly lower cytotoxicity, and a slightly superior performance as boron carrier toward breast cancer cells. Moreover, compound 4b could be used as a 19F magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) agent as well as labeled with 11C or 18F to obtain positron emission tomography (PET) radiotracers in order to apply the "see and treat" strategy in BNCT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2213-2221
Number of pages9
JournalBioconjugate Chemistry
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 15 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Organic Chemistry


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