Sulfonamides of halogenated bacteriochlorins bearing Cl or F substituents in the ortho positions of the phenyl rings have adequate properties for photodynamic therapy, including strong absorption in the near-infrared (λ(max) ≈ 750 nm, ε ≈ 10(5) M(-1) cm(-1)), controlled photodecomposition, large cellular uptake, intracellular localization in the endoplasmic reticulum, low cytotoxicity, and high phototoxicity against A549 and S91 cells. The roles of type I and type II photochemical processes are assessed by singlet oxygen luminescence and intracellular hydroxyl radical detection. Phototoxicity of halogenated sulfonamide bacteriochlorins does not correlate with singlet oxygen quantum yields and must be mediated both by electron transfer (superoxide ion, hydroxyl radicals) and by energy transfer (singlet oxygen). The photodynamic efficacy is enhanced when cellular death is induced by both singlet oxygen and hydroxyl radicals.
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