Photodynamic therapy is a moderately invasive therapeutic procedure based on the action of photosensitizers (PSs). These compounds are able to absorb light, and dissipate energy through photochemical processes leading to the production of oxidizing chemical species (singlet oxygen, free radicals or reactive oxygen species) which can damage the cell molecular structures eventually inducing cell death. To increase the entering through the plasma membrane, a PS with suitable chemical structure can be modified by addition of chemical groups (e.g., acetate or phosphate): this affects both the fluorescence emission and of the photosensitizing properties of the native PS. The modified compounds behave as fluorogenic substrates (FSs), since inside the cell the bound groups can be enzymatically removed and the fluorescence and photosensitizing properties of the native molecules are restored. With the aim to detect the subcellular localization of photoactive molecules at transmission electron microscopy, we loaded cultured HeLa cells with two different FSs, Rose Bengal acetate (RB-Ac) or Hypocrellin B acetate (HypB-Ac), and took advantage of the photophysical properties of the intracellularly restored PS molecules to obtain the photoconversion of diaminobenzidine (DAB) into an electrondense product. We demonstrated that RB-Ac and HypB-Ac are mostly internalized by endocytosis, and are converted into the native PSs already at the cell surface. Endocytosed PS molecules apparently follow the endosomes–lysosome route, being found in endosomes, lysosomes and multivescicular bodies; PS molecules were also detected in the cytosol. This ultrastructural localization of the photoactive molecules is fully consistent with the multiorganelle photodamage observed after irradiation in culture of RB-Ac- or HypB-Ac-loaded cells. Due to the very short half-life of the oxidizing chemical species and their limited mobility, DAB deposits do localize in close proximity of the very place where photoactive molecules elicited the production of reactive oxygen species upon light irradiation. Therefore, DAB photoconversion promises to be a suitable tool for directly visualizing in single cells the PS molecules at high resolution, helping to elucidate their mode of penetration into the cell as well as their dynamic intracellular redistribution and organelle targeting.
|Titolo:||Ultrastructural detection of photosensitizing molecules by fluorescence photoconversion of diaminobenzidine.|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2013|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01.01 Articolo in Rivista|