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Korean J Nucl Med. 2005 Aug;39(4):215-223. Korean. Review.
Yoo J , Lee J .
Department of Molecular Medicine, Kyungpook National University School of Medicine, Korea.
Department of Nuclear Medicine, Kyungpook National University School of Medicine, Korea.

Current interest in the regioselective N-functionalization of tetraazacycloalkanes (cyclen and cyclam) stems mainly from their complexes with radioactive metals for applications in diagnostic (64Cu, 111In, 67Ga) and therapeutic (90Y) medicine, and with paramagnetic ions for magnetic resonance imaging (Gd+3). Selective methods for the N-substitution of cyclen and cyclam is a crucial step in most syntheses of cyclen and cyclam-based radiometal complexes and bifunctional chelating agents. In addition, mixing different pendent groups to give hetero-substituted cyclen derivatives would be advantageous in many applications for fine-tuning the compound's physical properties. So far, numerous approaches for the regioselective N-substitution of tetraazacycloalkanes and more specifically cyclen and cyclam are reported. Unfortunately, none of them are general and every strategy has its own strong points and drawbacks. Herein, we categorize numerous regioselective N-alkylation methods into three strategies, such as 1) direct substitution of the macrocycle, 2) introduction of the functional groups prior to cyclization, and 3) protection/functionalization/deprotection. Our discussion is also split into the methods of mono- and tri-functionalization and di-functionalizataion based on number of substituents. At the end, we describe new trials for the new macrocycles which form more stable metal complexes with various radiometals, and briefly mention the commercially available tetraazacycloalkanes which are used for the biconjugation of biomolecules.

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