Detection of apoptosis by PET/CT with the diethyl ester of [ 18F]ML-10 and fluorescence imaging with a dansyl analogue

Manikandan Kadirvel, Michael Fairclough, Christopher Cawthorne, Emily J. Rowling, Muhammad Babur, Adam McMahon, Paul Birkket, Alison Smigova, Sally Freeman, Kaye J. Williams, Gavin Brown*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The diethyl ester of [18F]ML-10 is a small molecule apoptotic PET probe for cancer studies. Here we report a novel multi-step synthesis of the diethyl ester of ML-10 in excellent yields via fluorination using Xtal-Fluor-E. In addition, a one-pot radiosynthesis of the diethyl ester of [ 18F]ML-10 from nucleophilic [18F]fluoride was completed in 23% radiochemical yield (decay corrected). The radiochemical purity of the product was ≥99%. The diethyl ester of [18F]ML-10 was used in vivo to detect apoptosis in the testes of mice. In parallel studies, the dansyl-ML-10 diethyl ester was prepared and used to detect apoptotic cells in an in vitro cell based assay.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-349
Number of pages9
JournalBioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number1
Early online date20 Nov 2013
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Katrina Copeland, Michael Green, Jamil Gregory, Marc Radigois, Gemma Chapman, Jonathan Lowe, Neil O’Hara, Biljana Arsic, Fariba Fanimarvasti, Soraya Alnabulsi, Anthony Archer and Charles Fletcher for technical assistance. The Bioimaging Facility microscopes used in this study were purchased with grants from BBSRC , Wellcome and the University of Manchester Strategic Fund . Special thanks go to Peter March, Roger Meadows and Steven Marsden for their help with the microscopy.


  • Apoptosis
  • Fluorine-18
  • ML-10
  • Nucleophilic fluorination
  • PET/CT
  • XtalFluor-E

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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