124I-Radiolabeling of a Au(III)-NHC Complex for in Vivo Biodistribution Studies

Au(III) complexes with N-Heterocyclic Carbenes (NHCs) ligands have shown remarkable potential as anticancer agents, yet their fate in vivo has not been thoroughly examined and understood. Herein we report on the synthesis of new Au(III)-NHC complexes via direct oxidation with radioactive [124I]I2 as a valuable strategy to monitor the in vivo biodistribution of this class of compounds using positron emission tomography (PET) and, in combination with in vitro analyses, to provide direct evidence of the importance of Au(III)-to-Au(I) reduction for achieving full anticancer activity.