Open access peer-reviewed chapter - ONLINE FIRST

Strategies for Site-Specific Radiolabeling of Peptides and Proteins

By Ingrid Dijkgraaf, Stijn M. Agten, Matthias Bauwens and Tilman M. Hackeng

Submitted: April 8th 2021Reviewed: July 13th 2021Published: September 9th 2021

DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.99422

Downloaded: 4


Although anatomical imaging modalities (X-ray, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)) still have a higher spatial resolution (0.1–1 mm) than molecular imaging modalities (single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), positron emission tomography (PET), optical imaging (OI)), the advantage of molecular imaging is that it can detect molecular and cellular changes at the onset of a disease before it leads to morphological tissue changes, which can be detected by anatomical imaging. During the last decades, noninvasive diagnostic imaging has encountered a rapid growth due to the development of dedicated imaging equipment for preclinical animal studies. In addition, the introduction of multimodality imaging (PET/CT, SPECT/CT, PET/MRI) which combines high-resolution conventional anatomical imaging with high sensitivity of tracer-based molecular imaging techniques has led to successful accomplishments in this exciting field. In this book chapter, we will focus on chemical synthesis techniques for site-specific incorporation of radionuclide chelators. Subsequently, radiolabeling based on complexation of a radionuclide with a chelator will be discussed, with focus on: diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (DTPA), 1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-tetraacetic acid (DOTA), 1,4,7-triazacyclononane-triacetic acid (NOTA), hexa-histidine (His-tag), and 6-hydrazinonicotinic acid (HYNIC) that allow the production of peptides labeled with 18F, 68Ga, 99mTc, and 111In – the currently most widely used isotopes.


  • radiolabeled peptides
  • chelator
  • PET
  • radionuclide
  • peptide synthesis
  • protein synthesis


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Ingrid Dijkgraaf, Stijn M. Agten, Matthias Bauwens and Tilman M. Hackeng (September 9th 2021). Strategies for Site-Specific Radiolabeling of Peptides and Proteins [Online First], IntechOpen, DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.99422. Available from:

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