: The role of nitric oxide (NO) as an "unconventional" therapeutic and the strict dependence of biological effects on its concentration require the generation of NO with precise spatiotemporal control. The development of precursors and strategies to activate NO release by excitation in the so-called "therapeutic window" with highly biocompatible and tissue-penetrating red light is desirable and challenging. Herein, we demonstrate that one-photon red-light excitation of Verteporfin, a clinically approved photosensitizer (PS) for photodynamic therapy, activates NO release, in a catalytic fashion, from an otherwise blue-light activatable NO photodonor (NOPD) with an improvement of about 300 nm toward longer and more biocompatible wavelengths. Steady-state and time-resolved spectroscopic and photochemical studies combined with theoretical calculations account for an NO photorelease photosensitized by the lowest triplet state of the PS. In view of biological applications, the water-insoluble PS and NOPD have been co-entrapped within water-dispersible, biodegradable polymeric nanoparticles (NPs) of mPEG-b-PCL (about 84 nm in diameter), where the red-light activation of NO release takes place even more effectively than in an organic solvent solution and almost independently by the presence of oxygen. Moreover, the ideal spectroscopic prerequisites and the restricted environment of the NPs permit the green-fluorescent co-product formed concomitantly to NO photorelease to communicate with the PS via Förster resonance energy transfer. This leads to an enhancement of the typical red emission of the PS offering the possibility of a double color optical reporter useful for the real-time monitoring of the NO release through fluorescence techniques. The suitability of this strategy applied to the polymeric NPs as potential nanotherapeutics was evaluated through biological tests performed by using HepG2 hepatocarcinoma and A375 melanoma cancer cell lines. Fluorescence investigation in cells and cell viability experiments demonstrates the occurrence of the NO release under one-photon red-light illumination also in the biological environment. This confirms that the adopted strategy provides a valuable tool for generating NO from an already available NOPD, otherwise activatable with the poorly biocompatible blue light, without requiring any chemical modification and the use of sophisticated irradiation sources.

Red-Light-Photosensitized NO Release and Its Monitoring in Cancer Cells with Biodegradable Polymeric Nanoparticles

Fraix, Aurore;Parisi, Cristina;Conte, Claudia;Graziano, Adriana C. E.;Sortino, Salvatore
2023-01-01

Abstract

: The role of nitric oxide (NO) as an "unconventional" therapeutic and the strict dependence of biological effects on its concentration require the generation of NO with precise spatiotemporal control. The development of precursors and strategies to activate NO release by excitation in the so-called "therapeutic window" with highly biocompatible and tissue-penetrating red light is desirable and challenging. Herein, we demonstrate that one-photon red-light excitation of Verteporfin, a clinically approved photosensitizer (PS) for photodynamic therapy, activates NO release, in a catalytic fashion, from an otherwise blue-light activatable NO photodonor (NOPD) with an improvement of about 300 nm toward longer and more biocompatible wavelengths. Steady-state and time-resolved spectroscopic and photochemical studies combined with theoretical calculations account for an NO photorelease photosensitized by the lowest triplet state of the PS. In view of biological applications, the water-insoluble PS and NOPD have been co-entrapped within water-dispersible, biodegradable polymeric nanoparticles (NPs) of mPEG-b-PCL (about 84 nm in diameter), where the red-light activation of NO release takes place even more effectively than in an organic solvent solution and almost independently by the presence of oxygen. Moreover, the ideal spectroscopic prerequisites and the restricted environment of the NPs permit the green-fluorescent co-product formed concomitantly to NO photorelease to communicate with the PS via Förster resonance energy transfer. This leads to an enhancement of the typical red emission of the PS offering the possibility of a double color optical reporter useful for the real-time monitoring of the NO release through fluorescence techniques. The suitability of this strategy applied to the polymeric NPs as potential nanotherapeutics was evaluated through biological tests performed by using HepG2 hepatocarcinoma and A375 melanoma cancer cell lines. Fluorescence investigation in cells and cell viability experiments demonstrates the occurrence of the NO release under one-photon red-light illumination also in the biological environment. This confirms that the adopted strategy provides a valuable tool for generating NO from an already available NOPD, otherwise activatable with the poorly biocompatible blue light, without requiring any chemical modification and the use of sophisticated irradiation sources.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/596507
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