Z02 – Peptide evaluation and molecular imaging in vivo (Ambros Beer, Volker Rasche, Gilbert Weidinger)
This CRC initiative aims to elucidate the physiological relevance of endogenous bioactive peptides and to evaluate their potential as peptide-based therapeutics. Platform Z02 provides a multi-step approach for preclinical assessment of toxicity, bioavailability and biodistribution of peptides as well as novel transporter and labeling systems. Initial studies on toxicity and bioavailability will be performed in the zebrafish model allowing high throughput and easy imaging due to the transparency of early embryos. Some peptides will be subjected to more in-depth analyses of biodistribution and biostability in ovo and in mice using positron emission tomography–magnetic resonance imaging (PET/MRI) studies. The most promising agents will be evaluated in sophisticated in vivo imaging assays including multi-parametric PET/MRI and determination of compound efficacy, specificity and distribution in established mouse models and tumor xenografts for leukemia as well as solid cancers.