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SMALL MOLECULE IMAGING AGENT FOR MUTANT KRAS G12C

Multiple potent covalent inhibitors for mutant KRAS G12C have been described and some are in clinical trials. These small molecule inhibitors potentially allow for companion imaging probe development, thereby expanding the chemical biology toolkit to investigate mutant KRAS biology. Herein, we synthesized and tested a series of fluorescent companion imaging drugs (CID) for KRAS G12C, using two scaffolds, ARS-1323 and AMG-510. We created four fluorescent derivatives of each by attaching BODIPY dyes. We found that two fluorescent derivatives (BODIPY FL and BODIPY TMR) of ARS-1323 bind mutant KRAS and can be used for biochemical binding screens. Unfortunately, these drugs could not be used as direct imaging agents in cells, likely because of non-specific membrane labeling. To circumvent this challenge, we then used a two step procedure in cancer cells where an ARS-1323 alkyne is used for target binding followed by fluorescence imaging after in situ click chemsitry with picolyl azide Alexa Fluor 647. We show that this approach can be used to image mutant KRAS G12C directly in cells. Given the current lack of mutant KRAS G12C specific antibodies, these reagents could be useful for specific fluorescence imaging.

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