Photodynamic activities of sulfonamide derivatives of porphycene on nasopharyngeal carcinoma cells

Nai Ki MAK*, Tsz Wai Kok, Ricky N S WONG, Sum Wai Lam, Yan Kin Lau, Wing Nang Leung, Nai Ho CHEUNG, Dolly P. Huang, Lam Lung Yeung, Chi K. Chang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


Two sulfonamide derivatives of porphycene, namely PS6 and PS6A, were synthesized, and their photodynamic efficacies on the nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) cell line NPC/CNE-2 were evaluated. By comparing the 50% lethal concentrations (LC50) of these photosensitizers, we found that PS6A with a cationic ammonium group on the side chain exhibited potent photocytotoxicity on the NPC cell line. At a light dose of 1 J/cm2, the LC50 values of PS6 and PS6A for NPC cells were 11.6 and 1.92 μM, respectively. CNE-2 was found to rapidly take up PS6A in the first hour of incubation, and the uptake kinetics steadily increased to a plateau level after 18 h of incubation. The uptake of PS6A was temperature dependent. Over 99% of CNE-2 cells were sensitized by PS6A 24 h after drug treatment. Collapse of the mitochondrial membrane potential was also observed in PS6A photodynamic therapy (PDT)-treated CNE-2 cells 1.5 h after PDT. Confocal microscopy revealed that PS6A was predominantly localized in the mitochondria, lysosomes and Golgi bodies of NPC cells. Significant genotoxicity was not observed in CNE-2 cells. In functional studies, the in vitro formation of a capillary-like network of human umbilical vein endothelial cells in Matrigel was greatly inhibited by PS6A PDT in a dose-dependent manner. In conclusion, PS6A mediates both in vitro antitumor and antiangiogenic activities. PS6A might be a candidate for photodynamic treatment of NPCs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)418-429
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Biomedical Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2003

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Pharmacology (medical)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Membrane potential
  • Mitochondria
  • Nasopharyngeal carcinoma
  • Photodynamic therapy
  • Porphycene


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