MTH1 (MutT homolog 1) or NUDT1 (Nudix Hydrolase 1), also known as oxidized purine nucleoside triphosphatase, has potential as a biomarker for monitoring cancer progression and quantifying target engagement for relevant therapies. In this study, we validate one MTH1 inhibitor TH287 as a PET MTH1 radiotracer. TH287 was radiolabeled with tritium and the binding of [3H]TH287 to MTH1 was evaluated in live glioblastoma cells (U251MG) through saturation and competitive binding assays, together with in vitro enzymatic assays. Furthermore, TH287 was radiolabeled with carbon-11 for in vivo microPET studies. Saturation binding assays show that [3H]TH287 has a dissociation constant (Kd) of 1.97 ± 0.18 nM, Bmax of 2676 ± 122 fmol/mg protein for U251MG cells, and nH of 0.98 ± 0.02. Competitive binding assays show that TH287 (Ki: 3.04 ± 0.14 nM) has a higher affinity for MTH1 in U251MG cells compared to another well studied MTH1 inhibitor: (S)-crizotinib (Ki: 153.90 ± 20.48 nM). In vitro enzymatic assays show that TH287 has an IC50 of 2.2 nM in inhibiting MTH1 hydrolase activity and a Ki of 1.3 nM from kinetics assays, these results are consistent with our radioligand binding assays. Furthermore, MicroPET imaging shows that [11C]TH287 gets into the brain with rapid clearance from the brain, kidney, and heart. The results presented here indicate that radiolabeled TH287 has favorable properties to be a useful tool for measuring MTH1 in vitro and for further evaluation for in vivo PET imaging MTH1 of brain tumors and other central nervous system disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8860
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 2 2020


  • Binding assay
  • MTH1
  • PET
  • Radiotracer
  • TH287


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