The Effect of Charge on Cellular Uptake and Phototoxicity of Polylysine Chlorine6 Conjugates

Nikolaos S. Soukos, Michael R. Hamblin, Tayyaba Hasan

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98 Citations (Scopus)


The effect of charge on the cellular uptake, localization and phototoxicity of conjugates between chlorine6 (ce6) and poly-L-lysine was studied in vitro. These conjugates (average MW 35-55 kDa) were synthesized to have polycationic, polyanionic or neutral charges. Two human cell lines (A431 epidermoid carcinoma cells and EA.hy926 hybrid endothelial cells) were studied and the cellular uptake of ce6 delivered by the conjugates of varying charge and free ce6 was measured at conjugate ce6 equivalent concentrations up to 0.4 μM. Uptake was time and concentration dependent and temperature dependent in the case of neutral and anionic conjugates. Relative uptake at 6 h for A431 cells was 73:15:4:1 and for EA.hy926 cells was 63:11:3:1 for cationic, anionic, neutral and free ce6, respectively, but EA.hy926 cells took up 1.5-2 times as much ce6 from all the conjugates as A431 cells. Localization as studied by fluorescence microscopy indicated that the cationic conjugate was in aggregates bound to the plasma membrane, while the other forms were internalized in organelles and membranes. Phototoxicity was measured by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay after irradiation with 5-20 J cm-2 of 666 nm light. In contrast to the uptake, the order of phototoxicity for both cell types per mole of ce6 uptake per cell was neutral ≫ anionic > cationic > free ce6. Polymeric ce6 conjugates bearing positive, negative and neutral charges may have different tissue-localizing properties and could play a role in photodynamic therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)723-729
Number of pages7
JournalPhotochemistry and Photobiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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