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Two zinc(II) phthalocyanines (ZnPcs) were conjugated with a monoclonal antibody (MAb) directed against carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), using an in situ activated carboxylic acid on the ZnPcs. The bioconjugate with the highest ZnPc/MAb ratio of 3 was investigated in vitro for its ability to target and fluorescently label human colorectal HT-29 cells. The ZnPc-CEA MAb 2 was observed to efficiently target HT-29 cells, about 37 times more than unconjugated ZnPc. Furthermore, in the presence of a 4-fold excess of unlabelled anti-CEA antibody, the fluorescence signal of 2 was reduced by ∼90% showing that the targeting is CEA-mediated. These studies further confirm the high specificity of Pc-antibody conjugates for antigens over-expressed on tumor cells and warrant further investigations of these immunoconjugates and their derivatives for imaging of colorectal cancer. Copyright © 2013 World Scientific Publishing Company.

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Journal of Porphyrins and Phthalocyanines

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