Evolution of Bombesin Conjugates for Targeted PET Imaging of Tumors
Recently it has been established that both a gastrin-releasing peptide (GRP)-preferring bombesin receptor and a neuromedin B-preferring bombesin receptor mediate the mammalian actions of bombesin-related peptides. Because many tissues used for studies of the structure-activity relationship of these peptides possess both receptor subtypes and none possess only the neuromedin B-preferring subtype, there is minimal information on the peptide structural features determining receptor selectivity and it is unknown whether the determinants of agonism at both bombesin receptor subtypes are similar. In the present study we have used native cells either possessing only one bombesin receptor subtype or stably transfected with one subtype to study in detail the peptide structural requirements for interacting and activating each receptor subtype. For the naturally occurring agonists, at the GRP-preferring bombesin receptor the relative affinities were litorin = ranatensin = bombesin > GRP >> neuromedin B, phyllolitorin and at the neuromedin B-preferring bombesin receptor were litorin = neuromedin B = ranatensin > bombesin, phyllolitorin >> GRP. For the GRP-preferring bombesin receptor the heptapeptide and for the neuromedin B-preferring bombesin receptor the octapeptide was the minimal carboxyl fragment interacting with the receptor/or causing biologic activity, and the nonapeptide and full decapeptide, respectively, were the minimal required for full affinity. Making neuromedin B more bombesin- or GRP-like by replacing amino acids in position 3, 6, and 9 demonstrated that position 3 was the most important, followed by position 9 for receptor subtype selectivity. A conformationally restricted GRP analogue, [D-Cys6,D-Ala11,Cys14]bombesin-(6-14) had a significantly higher affinity for GRP-preferring bombesin receptor than NMB receptor. These results demonstrate that: (1) the structure-function relations for the two mammalian bombesin receptors have important differences; (2) suggest that the active conformation of neuromedin B must differ markedly from the beta-sheet model proposed for GRP; and (3) suggest that one important function of the NH2 terminus of GRP and neuromedin B is determining receptor subtype selectivity.