The role of galectin-1 in in vitro and in vivo photodynamic therapy with a galactodendritic porphyrin

Patricia M R Pereira, Sandrina Silva, Jose S Ramalho, Celia M Gomes, Henrique Girao, Jose A. S. Cavaleiro, Carlos A F Ribeiro, Joao P C Tome, Rosa Fernandes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Conventional photodynamic agents used in clinic are porphyrin-based photosensitizers. However, they have low tumour selectivity, which may induce unwanted side-effects and damage to healthy tissues. In this study, we used a porphyrin with dendritic units of galactose (PorGal(8)) developed by us, which can target the galactose-binding protein, galectin-1, known to be overexpressed in many tumour tissues. In vitro and in vivo studies had been conducted for the validation of PorGal(8) effectiveness. We showed a specific uptake of PorGal(8) and induction of apoptotic cell death by generating oxidative stress and alterations in the cytoskeleton of bladder cancer cells overexpressing galectin-1. We further validated the photodynamic efficiency of PorGal(8) in athymic nude mice (Balb/c nu/nu) bearing subcutaneously implanted luciferase-positive bladder cancer xenografts, overexpressing galectin-1 protein. PorGal(8) (5 mu mol/kg, intraperitoneal), injected 24 h before light delivery (50.4 J/cm(2)), inhibited tumour growth. We conclude that the use of PorGal(8) enables selective target and cytotoxicity by photodynamic therapy in cancer cells overexpressing galectin-1, preventing undesired phototoxicity in the surrounding healthy tissues. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-69
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean journal of cancer prevention : the official journal of the European Cancer Prevention Organisation (ECP)
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016


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