Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 24, Issue 4, pp 783–790 | Cite as

Cyclic tetrapyrrolic photosensitizers from Cladophora patentiramea (Cladophoraceae, Chlorophyta) and Turbinaria conoides (Sargassaceae, Phaeophyta) for photodynamic therapy

  • Yee Voon Tang
  • Siew Moi Phang
  • Wan Loy Chu
  • Anthony Ho
  • Soo Hwang Teo
  • Hong Boon Lee


In screening for novel photosensitizers for photodynamic therapy, 14 seaweed samples from Port Dickson in Malaysia were collected. Methanolic extracts of these samples were prepared and evaluated for phototoxicity using a short-term cell viability assay, where promyelocytic leukemia cells, HL60 were incubated with the extracts prior to irradiation with a broad spectrum light at 9.6 J cm−2 (equivalent to 10.5 mW cm−2 for 10 min). Four of the methanolic extracts demonstrated moderate to strong phototoxicity and bioassay-guided isolation of photosensitizers was carried out on two selected seaweeds to yield a total of eight cyclic tetrapyrrolic compounds which are derivatives of chlorophyll-a and -b. Seven of these compounds showed >50% phototoxicity at 5 μg mL−1 while exhibiting minimal cytotoxicity in the dark, which is an important characteristic of an ideal photosensitizer.


Photodynamic therapy Photosensitizer Seaweeds Cyclic tetrapyrroles Chlorophylls 



The authors are grateful to the sponsors of Cancer Research Initiatives Foundation (CARIF) for supporting this work and the collaborators for their assistance in taxonomic identification and NMR experiments. The first author thanks the University of Malaya for the research grant (Vot PPP No. PS104/2007B; PS175/2008A) in support of this work.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yee Voon Tang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Siew Moi Phang
    • 2
    • 3
  • Wan Loy Chu
    • 4
  • Anthony Ho
    • 1
    • 5
  • Soo Hwang Teo
    • 1
  • Hong Boon Lee
    • 1
  1. 1.Cancer Research Initiatives Foundation (CARIF), 2nd floor, Outpatient Centre, Sime Darby Medical CentreSubang JayaMalaysia
  2. 2.Institute of Biological SciencesUniversity of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia
  3. 3.Institute of Ocean and Earth SciencesUniversity of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia
  4. 4.International Medical UniversityKuala LumpurMalaysia
  5. 5.Faculty of Engineering and ScienceUniversity Tunku Abdul RahmanKuala LumpurMalaysia

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