European Biophysics Journal

, Volume 36, Issue 8, pp 943–953 | Cite as

Structural and physico-chemical determinants of the interactions of macrocyclic photosensitizers with cells

  • Halina MojzisovaEmail author
  • Stéphanie Bonneau
  • Daniel Brault


New therapies have been developed using reactive oxygen species produced by light-activation of photosensitizers (PS). Since the lifetime of these species is extremely short and their diffusion in space is limited, the photo-induced reactions primarily affect the cell organelles labeled by the PS. In addition to the development of molecules with the best optical and photosensitizing properties, considerable research has been done to understand the physico-chemical parameters governing their subcellular localization. In this review, we examine these parameters to establish the structure/efficacy relationships, which allow specific targeting of PS. We examine the effect of subcellular localization on the cellular response to photosensitization processes. We discuss the determinants of subcellular localization, including the hydrophobic/hydrophilic balance, the specific charge effects and the dynamics of PS’ transfer through membranes. Specific targeting can also be achieved with molecular structures able to recognize cellular or intracellular receptors, and this is also dealt with in this paper.


Porphyrin Subcellular Localization Phthalocyanine Macrocycle Tetrapyrrole 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



5-Aminolevulinic acid


Sulfonated aluminum phthalocyanine




Antiapoptotic protein identified on B-cell lymphoma 2


BH3 interacting domain death agonist


Benzoporphyrin derivative


Benzoporphyrin derivative monoacid ring A


Chlorin e6






Hematoporphyrin derivative


Lysyl chlorin p6




Benzodiazepine receptor


Photochemical internalization


Photodynamic therapy




Protoporphyrin IX




Reactive oxygen species




Sulfonated tetraphenylporphyrin


Zinc phthalocyanine


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Copyright information

© EBSA 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Halina Mojzisova
    • 1
    Email author
  • Stéphanie Bonneau
    • 1
  • Daniel Brault
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Biophysique Moléculaire Cellulaire et Tissulaire (BIOMOCETI), CNRS UMR 7033Université Pierre and Marie CurieEvry Cedex, ParisFrance

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