Synthesis, spectroscopic, and cellular properties of α-pegylated -AB- and AB-types ZnPcs

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A series of pegylated -AB- or AB-type ZnPcs, substituted on the α-positions with tri(ethylene glycol) and hydroxyl groups, were synthesized from a new bis-phthalonitrile. A clamshell-type bis-phthalocyanine was also obtained as a byproduct. The hydroxyl group of one ZnPc was alkylated with 3-dimethylaminopropyl chloride to afford a pegylated ZnPc functionalized with an amine group. All mononuclear ZnPcs were soluble in polar organic solvents, showed intense Q absorptions in DMF, and had fluorescence quantum yields in the range 0.10-0.23. The clamshell-type bis-phthalocyanine adopts mainly open shell conformations in DMF, and closed clamshell conformations in chloroform. All ZnPcs were highly phototoxic to human carcinoma HEp2 cells, particularly the amino-ZnPc mainly protonated under physiological conditions, which showed the highest phototoxicity (IC = 0.5 μM at 1.5 J/cm) and dark cytotoxicity (IC = 22 μM), in part due to its high cellular uptake. The ZnPcs localized in multiple organelles, including mitochondria, lysosomes, Golgi and ER.

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Journal of porphyrins and phthalocyanines

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