The influence of the calcium channel blocker verapamil on the sensitivity of mouse fibrosarcoma cells of the line EMT-6 to treatment with Photofrin II (PII) or tetra(4-sulfonatophenyl)porphine (TPPS4) and light has been assessed. Cells were treated with 1.5 microg/ml PII or 75 microg/ml TPPS4 overnight in the absence or presence of 50 microg/ml verapamil and subsequently exposed to light. Verapamil increased the sensitivity of the EMT-6 cells to PII-induced photoinactivation by a factor of 2. In contrast, verapamil decreased the sensitivity of the cells to TPPS4-induced photoinactivation by 50-60%. Both sensitizers were found to be located to a large extent in lysosomes as revealed by fluorescence microscopy and by photochemical inactivation of the lysosomal marker enzyme beta-N-acetyl-D-glucosaminidase. Verapamil increased the uptake of PII by 30% and reduced the uptake of TPPS4 by 20%. Furthermore, verapamil enhanced the binding and uptake of LDL by about 40%. In conclusion, the effects of verapamil-induced sensitization of EMT-6 cells treated with PII or TPPS4 and light can to a large extent be attributed to the modulatory effects of verapamil on endocytosis.
Copyright 1998 Elsevier Science B.V.