Synthesis and cellular studies of PEG-functionalized meso-tetraphenylporphyrins

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The total syntheses of four PEG-functionalized porphyrins, containing one to four low molecular weight PEG chains linked via amide bonds to the para-phenyl positions of meso-tetraphenylporphyrin, are reported. The hydrophobic character of the PEG-porphyrins decreases with the number of PEG chains linked to the porphyrin ring, while their tendency for aggregation in buffered aqueous solution increases. The porphyrins containing one or two PEG chains accumulated within human HEp2 cells to a much higher extent than those having three or four PEGs at the macrocycle periphery. All PEG-porphyrins were found to be non-toxic in the dark, and only those containing one or two PEG chains were phototoxic (IC50 = 2 μM at 1 J/cm2 light dose). The preferential sites of subcellular localization of the porphyrins containing one or two PEG chains were found to be the mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum (ER), while those containing three or four PEG chains localize preferentially in the lysosomes. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology

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