Porphyrin-retinamides: Synthesis and cellular studies

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A series of four porphyrin-retinamides containing either all-trans- or 13-cis-retinoid acid residues, directly linked to the para-phenyl position of meso-tetraphenylporphyrin or via a low-molecular-weight PEG spacer, have been synthesized. The biological properties of these conjugates were evaluated in a model cell line, human HEp2, and in neuroblastoma SK-N-DZ cells, which exhibit moderate expression of retinoic acid receptors and retinoic acid-induced differentiation. The directly linked porphyrin-retinamides were taken up by a greater extent (20-50% more) in SK-N-DZ than in HEp2 cells. However, the PEG-containing conjugates accumulated maximally within both cell lines and approximately by the same amount, probably due to their increased amphiphilicity. Among all conjugates, the porphyrin-PEG-13-cis-retinamide accumulated the most in both cell lines (about 5 times more than the non-pegylated conjugates). None of the porphyrin-retinamide conjugates were toxic toward HEp2 cells at concentrations up to 100 μM, and only the hydrophobic non-pegylated conjugates were moderately toxic to SK-N-DZ cells [IC50 (dark) = 56-92 μM, and IC50 (at 1 J/cm 2) = 6-8 μM]. All conjugates preferentially localized within cellular vesicles that correlated well to the lysosomes and, in addition, the PEG-containing porphyrin-retinamides were also found in the ER. © 2007 American Chemical Society.

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Bioconjugate Chemistry

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