JBIC Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 143–154 | Cite as

Gold–phosphine–porphyrin as potential metal-based theranostics

  • Semra Tasan
  • Cynthia Licona
  • Pierre-Emmanuel Doulain
  • Clément Michelin
  • Claude P. Gros
  • Pierre Le Gendre
  • Pierre D. Harvey
  • Catherine Paul
  • Christian Gaiddon
  • Ewen Bodio
Original Paper


Two new gold-phosphine-porphyrin derivatives were synthesized and fully characterized, and their photophysical properties investigated along a water-soluble analog. The cytotoxicity of the compounds was tested on cancer cells (HCT116 and SW480), and their cell uptake was followed by fluorescence microscopy in vitro (on SW480). The proof that the water-soluble gold-phosphine-porphyrin is a biologically active compound that can be tracked in vitro was clearly established, especially concerning the water-soluble analog. Some preliminary photodynamic therapy (PDT) experiments were also performed. They highlight a dramatic increase of the cytotoxicity when the cells were illuminated for 30 min with white light.

Graphical Abstract


Theranostics Bimetallic complex Gold complex Optical imaging Porphyrin 



The “Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique” (ICMUB, UMR CNRS 6302) is gratefully thanked for financial support. Support was provided by the CNRS, the “Université de Bourgogne” and the “Conseil Régional de Bourgogne” through the 3MIM integrated Project (“Marquage de Molécules par les Métaux pour l’Imagerie Médicale”) and PARI programs. ST thanks the French Ministry of Research for PhD grant. PDH thanks the “Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR)” and the Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) for financial support. CP thanks Pascale Winckler of the Dimacell imaging ressource center (Dimacell, Agrosup Dijon and University of Burgundy, Dijon, France) for technical support during confocal measurements. Dr. Fanny Picquet, Marie José Penouilh and Léo Bucher are warmly acknowledged for technical support. Dr. Jean-Michel Barbe is thanked for helpful discussions. The authors are very thankful to Dr. Benoit Habermeyer and Porphychem Company for providing the TetraPhenylPorphyrin (TPP) precursor. CG is thankful for CNRS, CONACIT, Ligue Contre le Cancer and COST CM1105 financial support.

Supplementary material

775_2014_1220_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (2.4 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 2429 kb)


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Copyright information

© SBIC 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Semra Tasan
    • 1
  • Cynthia Licona
    • 2
  • Pierre-Emmanuel Doulain
    • 1
  • Clément Michelin
    • 1
  • Claude P. Gros
    • 1
  • Pierre Le Gendre
    • 1
  • Pierre D. Harvey
    • 3
  • Catherine Paul
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
  • Christian Gaiddon
    • 2
  • Ewen Bodio
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut de Chimie Moléculaire de l’Université de Bourgogne, UMR 6302 CNRSUniversité de BourgogneDijonFrance
  2. 2.Unité 1113 INSERM, «Signalisation moléculaire du stress cellulaire et pathologies», Fédération de Médecine Translationelle de StrasbourgUniversité de StrasbourgStrasbourgFrance
  3. 3.Département de ChimieUniversité de SherbrookeSherbrookeCanada
  4. 4.EPHE Cancer Immunotherapy LaboratoryDijonFrance
  5. 5.EA7269 EPHE-University of BurgundyDijonFrance
  6. 6.University of BurgundyDijonFrance

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