Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology

Recent Achievements


[Front cover picture] Cancer Treatment: Enhanced Photodynamic Cancer Treatment by Mitochondria‐Targeting and Brominated Near‐Infrared Fluorophores

Title: Cancer Treatment: Enhanced Photodynamic Cancer Treatment by MitochondriaTargeting and Brominated NearInfrared Fluorophores

Author: Ilkoo Noh, DaeYong Lee, Heegon Kim, Chan-Uk Jeong, Yunsoo Lee, Jung-Oh Ahn, Hoon Hyun, Ji-Ho Park, and Yeu-Chun Kim

Journal: Advanced science (IF:9.034)


Abstract: A noninvasive and selective therapy, photodynamic therapy (PDT) is widely researched in clinical fields; however, the lower efficiency of PDT can induce unexpected side effects. Mitochondria are extensively researched as target sites to maximize PDT effects because they play crucial roles in metabolismand can be used as cancer markers due to their high transmembrane potential. Here, a mitochondria targeting photodynamic therapeutic agent (MitDt) is developed. This photosensitizer is synthesized from heptamethine cyanine dyes, which are conjugated or modified as follows. The heptamethine mesoposition is conjugated with a triphenylphosphonium derivative for mitochondrial targeting, the N-alkyl side chain is modified for regulation of charge balance and solubility, and the indolenine groups are brominated to enhance reactive oxygen species generation (ROS) after laser irradiation. The synthesized MitDt increases the cancer uptake efficiency due to the lipo-cationic properties of the triphenylphosphonium, and the PDT effects of MitDt are amplified after laser irradiation because mitochondria are susceptible to ROS, the response to which triggers an apoptotic anticancer effect. Consequently, these hypotheses are demonstrated by in vitro and in vivo studies, and the results indicate strong potential for use of MitDts as efficient single-moleculebased PDT agents for cancer treatment.






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