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Photochem Photobiol. 2008 Sep-Oct;84(5):1073-83. doi: 10.1111/j.1751-1097.2008.00392.x.

Interactive transport, subcellular relocation and enhanced phototoxicity of hypericin encapsulated in guanidinylated liposomes via molecular recognition.

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Institute of Physical Chemistry, NCSR "DEMOKRITOS," Aghia Paraskevi, Attiki, Greece.


Hypericin (HYP), a photocytotoxic phenanthroperylenquinone was encapsulated in liposomes outfitted with guanidinium-bearing lipids to ensure efficient cell binding through molecular recognition with anionic groups resident on the plasma membrane. The uptake of HYP encapsulated in these liposomes by DU145 human prostate cancer cells, was studied employing fluorescence, versus nonguadinylated liposomes and free HYP. The subcellular localization was in all cases studied by confocal microscopy employing specific subcellular organelle probes. The photocytotoxicity of HYP was assessed, 24 h following irradiation with 15 mWcm(-2) light through a GG 495 Schott filter, by a standard tetrazolium to formazan assay (XTT). HYP uptake by DU145 cells was found to be profoundly enhanced by using guanidinylated liposomes. Also the distance of the guanidinium group from the liposomal surface was found to significantly affect HYP loading, subcellular localization and phototoxicity. The two different modes of liposome cell internalization observed, i.e. plasma membrane fusion and endocytosis, were found to greatly affect the phototoxicity of HYP. Molecular recognition was overall appraised as a promising, novel route for photodynamic therapy, profoundly enhancing its efficacy. HYP encapsulated in liposomes-bearing guanidinium groups was more efficiently taken up by cells, leading to enhanced phototoxicity, in contrast to HYP encapsulated in their nonguanidinylated counterparts.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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