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J Gen Virol. 2012 Nov;93(Pt 11):2512-7. doi: 10.1099/vir.0.044727-0. Epub 2012 Aug 1.

Photodynamic inactivation of prions by disulfonated hydroxyaluminium phthalocyanine.

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Institute of Immunology and Microbiology, First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague, Studnickova 7, 12800 Prague 2, Czech Republic.


Sulfonated phthalocyanines (Pcs) are cyclic tetrapyrroles that constitute a group of photosensitizers. In the presence of visible light and diatomic oxygen, Pcs produce singlet oxygen and other reactive oxygen species that have known degradation effects on lipids, proteins and/or nucleic acids. Pcs have been used successfully in the treatment of bacterial, yeast and fungal infections, but their use in the photodynamic inactivation of prions has never been reported. Here, we evaluated the photodynamic activity of the disodium salt of disulfonated hydroxyaluminium phthalocyanine (PcDS) against mouse-adapted scrapie RML prions in vitro. PcDS treatment of RML brain homogenate resulted in a time- and dose-dependent inactivation of prions. The photodynamic potential of Pcs offers a new way to inactivate prions using biodegradable compounds at room temperature and normal pressure, which could be useful for treating thermolabile materials and liquids.

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