Designing small molecules able to break down G4 structures in mRNA (RG4s) offers an interesting approach to cancer therapy. Here, we have studied cationic porphyrins (CPs) bearing an alkyl chain up to 12 carbons, as they bind to RG4s while generating reactive oxygen species upon photoirradiation. Fluorescence-Activated cell sorting (FACS) and confocal microscopy showed that the designed alkyl CPs strongly penetrate cell membranes, binding to KRAS and NRAS mRNAs under low-Abundance cell conditions. In Panc-1 cells, alkyl CPs at nanomolar concentrations promote a dramatic downregulation of KRAS and NRAS expression, but only if photoactivated. Alkyl CPs also reduce the metabolic activity of pancreatic cancer cells and the growth of a Panc-1 xenograft in SCID mice. Propidium iodide/annexin assays and caspase 3, caspase 7, and PARP-1 analyses show that these compounds activate apoptosis. All these data demonstrate that the designed alkyl CPs are efficient photosensitizers for the photodynamic therapy of ras-driven cancers.

Photodynamic Therapy for ras-Driven Cancers: Targeting G-Quadruplex RNA Structures with Bifunctional Alkyl-Modified Porphyrins

Ferino A.;D'Este F.;
2020

Abstract

Designing small molecules able to break down G4 structures in mRNA (RG4s) offers an interesting approach to cancer therapy. Here, we have studied cationic porphyrins (CPs) bearing an alkyl chain up to 12 carbons, as they bind to RG4s while generating reactive oxygen species upon photoirradiation. Fluorescence-Activated cell sorting (FACS) and confocal microscopy showed that the designed alkyl CPs strongly penetrate cell membranes, binding to KRAS and NRAS mRNAs under low-Abundance cell conditions. In Panc-1 cells, alkyl CPs at nanomolar concentrations promote a dramatic downregulation of KRAS and NRAS expression, but only if photoactivated. Alkyl CPs also reduce the metabolic activity of pancreatic cancer cells and the growth of a Panc-1 xenograft in SCID mice. Propidium iodide/annexin assays and caspase 3, caspase 7, and PARP-1 analyses show that these compounds activate apoptosis. All these data demonstrate that the designed alkyl CPs are efficient photosensitizers for the photodynamic therapy of ras-driven cancers.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11390/1208192
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