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Journal of controlled release : official journal of the Controlled Release Society

Selective photosensitizer delivery into plasma membrane for effective photodynamic therapy.


PMID 24892975

Abstract

Subcellular localization of photosensitizers (PSs) determines the therapeutic efficacy in the photodynamic therapy. However, among the subcellular compartments, there has been little effort to deliver the PSs selectively into the plasma membrane and examine the phototherapeutic efficacy of membrane-localized PSs. Here, we developed a liposomal delivery system to localize the hydrophobic PSs selectively into the plasma membrane. The membrane fusogenic liposomes (MFLs), the membrane of which is engineered to fuse with the plasma membrane, was prepared for the membrane localization of PSs. The phototherapeutic efficacy of cells treated with ZnPc-loaded MFLs was superior over that of cells treated with ZnPc-loaded non-fusogenic liposomes, which is the conventional liposomal formulation that delivers the PSs into the intracellular compartments via endocytosis. The membrane localization of ZnPc molecules led to rapid membrane disruption upon irradiation and subsequent necrosis-like cell death. The membrane-localized generation of reactive oxygen species in the cells treated with ZnPc-loaded MFLs was likely to account for the effective disruption of plasma membrane. Thus, this work provides a novel delivery method to localize the PSs selectively into the plasma membrane with the enhanced phototherapeutic efficacy.