Comparison of the In Vitro Photodynamic Activity of the C1α and C1β Anomers of a Glucosylated Boron Dipyrromethene

Junlong Xiong, Ka-Wing Yeung, Clarence T. T. Wong, Wing-Ping Fong, Dennis K. P. Ng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is an established treatment modality for a range of superficial and localized cancers. There has been tremendous interest in the development of advanced photosensitizers that exhibit superior photophysical properties, high tumor selectivity, and improved pharmacokinetics. Glucose is one of the well-studied targeting moieties that can deliver various therapeutic agents to cancer cells selectively via the Warburg effect. However, the use of glucosylated photosensitizers for targeted PDT has remained little studied and to the best of our knowledge, the PDT effect of the positional isomers of these conjugates has never been compared. We report herein the preparation and photophysical properties of the C1α and C1β anomers of a glucosylated boron dipyrromethene-based photosensitizer. The cellular uptake and photocytotoxicity of both anomers were also studied and compared using A549 human lung carcinoma cells and HEK293 human embryonic kidney cells. Interestingly, the cellular uptake of the C1α anomer was approximately 2-fold higher than that of the C1β anomer regardless of the cell type and incubation time. The uptake pathway of both anomers was also studied. It was found that they were internalized through energy-dependent receptor/protein-mediated endocytosis rather than the well-known glucose transporters and sodium-driven glucose symporters.
Original languageOthers/Unknown
Pages (from-to)193-207
Number of pages15
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2022

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