Intracellular singlet oxygen generation in photofrin-loaded cells caused cell death without discrimination between nonmalignant and malignant cells. In contrast, extracellular singlet oxygen generation caused apoptosis induction selectively in tumor cells through singlet oxygen-mediated inactivation of tumor cell protective catalase and subsequent reactivation of intercellular ROS-mediated apoptosis signaling through the HOCl and the NO/peroxynitrite signaling pathway. Singlet oxygen generation by extracellular photofrin alone was, however, not sufficient for optimal direct inactivation of catalase, but needed to trigger the generation of cell-derived extracellular singlet oxygen through the interaction between H2O2 and peroxynitrite. Thereby, formation of peroxynitrous acid, generation of hydroxyl radicals and formation of perhydroxyl radicals (HO2(.)) through hydroxyl radical/H2O2 interaction seemed to be required as intermediate steps. This amplificatory mechanism led to the formation of singlet oxygen at a sufficiently high concentration for optimal inactivation of membrane-associated catalase. At low initial concentrations of singlet oxygen, an additional amplification step needed to be activated. It depended on singlet oxygen-dependent activation of the FAS receptor and caspase-8, followed by caspase-8-mediated enhancement of NOX activity. The biochemical mechanisms described here might be considered as promising principle for the development of novel approaches in tumor therapy that specifically direct membrane-associated catalase of tumor cells and thus utilize tumor cell-specific apoptosis-inducing ROS signaling.
Keywords: Catalase; Intercellular apoptosis-inducing signaling; Nitric oxide; Peroxnitrite; Photodynamic therapy; Singlet oxygen.
Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.