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Molecular Aspects of Photodynamic Therapy

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Pathology, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 August 2024 | Viewed by 6778

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Faculty of Biology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, 119234 Moscow, Russia
Interests: molecular targets for photosensitization; reactive oxygen species; photodynamic inactivation of bacteria and viruses

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Co-Guest Editor
Prokhorov General Physics Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, National Research Nuclear University Moscow Engineering Physics Institute, 115409 Moscow, Russia
Interests: photodynamic therapy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Intensive research on photodynamic therapy (PDT),  originally based on empirical phototherapy, in which photoactive plant metabolites were used to enhance the action of sunlight, led to the discovery of the scientific foundations of photodynamic reactions, the creation of artificial light sources and several generations of photosensitizers, and their practical application. The basic PDT process includes the photosensitized generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) aimed at combating life-threatening neoplasms and pathogens. The main advantages of PDT are its non-invasiveness, selectivity of action and efficiency in relation to objects resistant to traditional chemotherapy. This becomes possible due to local lesion irradiation, the selective accumulation of a photosensitizer in or near the ROS-sensitive structures and the extremely short ROS lifetimes. This Special Issue is focused on studies of ROS-sensitive targets in eukaryotic cells, bacteria and viruses, photosensitizer delivery carriers, studies on the interactions of photosensitizers with cytoplasmic membranes and intracellular structures of cancer and cancer stem cells, endotheliocytes of cancer vessels, bacterial cells and matrices of biofilms, structures of virus envelopes and genetic apparatus. Along with experimental research, studies on the use of molecular modeling and information technologies are welcome.

Dr. Marina G. Strakhovskaya
Dr. Gennady A. Meerovich
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • photosensitizer
  • reactive oxygen species
  • sensitive targets
  • anticancer photodynamic therapy (PDT)
  • antimicrobial PDT
  • delivery carriers
  • molecular modeling

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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12 pages, 4474 KiB  
Article
Tumor-Targeted Squaraine Dye for Near-Infrared Fluorescence-Guided Photodynamic Therapy
by Yoonbin Park, Min Ho Park and Hoon Hyun
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(6), 3428; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25063428 - 18 Mar 2024
Viewed by 551
Abstract
Many efforts have been made to develop near-infrared (NIR) fluorescent dyes with high efficiency for the NIR laser-induced phototherapy of cancer. However, the low tumor targetability and high nonspecific tissue uptake of NIR dyes in vivo limit their applications in preclinical cancer imaging [...] Read more.
Many efforts have been made to develop near-infrared (NIR) fluorescent dyes with high efficiency for the NIR laser-induced phototherapy of cancer. However, the low tumor targetability and high nonspecific tissue uptake of NIR dyes in vivo limit their applications in preclinical cancer imaging and therapy. Among the various NIR dyes, squaraine (SQ) dyes are widely used due to their high molar extinction coefficient, intense fluorescence, and excellent photostability. Previously, benzoindole-derived SQ (BSQ) was prepared by incorporating carboxypentyl benzoindolium end groups into a classical SQ backbone, followed by conjugating with cyclic RGD peptides for tumor-targeted imaging. In this study, we demonstrate that the structure-inherent tumor-targeting BSQ not only shows a high fluorescence quantum yield in serum but also exhibits superior reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation capability under the 671 nm laser irradiation for effective photodynamic therapy (PDT) in vitro and in vivo. Without targeting ligands, the BSQ was preferentially accumulated in tumor tissue 24 h post-injection, which was the optimal timing of the laser irradiation to induce increments of ROS production. Therefore, this work provides a promising strategy for the development of photodynamic therapeutic SQ dyes for targeted cancer therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Aspects of Photodynamic Therapy)
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18 pages, 2909 KiB  
Article
Thiophene Stability in Photodynamic Therapy: A Mathematical Model Approach
by Jackson J. Alcázar
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(5), 2528; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25052528 - 21 Feb 2024
Viewed by 714
Abstract
Thiophene-containing photosensitizers are gaining recognition for their role in photodynamic therapy (PDT). However, the inherent reactivity of the thiophene moiety toward singlet oxygen threatens the stability and efficiency of these photosensitizers. This study presents a novel mathematical model capable of predicting the reactivity [...] Read more.
Thiophene-containing photosensitizers are gaining recognition for their role in photodynamic therapy (PDT). However, the inherent reactivity of the thiophene moiety toward singlet oxygen threatens the stability and efficiency of these photosensitizers. This study presents a novel mathematical model capable of predicting the reactivity of thiophene toward singlet oxygen in PDT, using Conceptual Density Functional Theory (CDFT) and genetic programming. The research combines advanced computational methods, including various DFT techniques and symbolic regression, and is validated with experimental data. The findings underscore the capacity of the model to classify photosensitizers based on their photodynamic efficiency and safety, particularly noting that photosensitizers with a constant rate 1000 times lower than that of unmodified thiophene retain their photodynamic performance without substantial singlet oxygen quenching. Additionally, the research offers insights into the impact of electronic effects on thiophene reactivity. Finally, this study significantly advances thiophene-based photosensitizer design, paving the way for therapeutic agents that achieve a desirable balance between efficiency and safety in PDT. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Aspects of Photodynamic Therapy)
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12 pages, 2264 KiB  
Article
Interaction of Methylene Blue with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 Envelope Revealed by Molecular Modeling
by Ilya Kovalenko, Ekaterina Kholina, Vladimir Fedorov, Sergei Khruschev, Ekaterina Vasyuchenko, Gennady Meerovich and Marina Strakhovskaya
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(21), 15909; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms242115909 - 02 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1100
Abstract
Methylene blue has multiple antiviral properties against Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-related Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The ability of methylene blue to inhibit different stages of the virus life cycle, both in light-independent and photodynamic processes, is used in clinical practice. At the same time, [...] Read more.
Methylene blue has multiple antiviral properties against Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-related Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The ability of methylene blue to inhibit different stages of the virus life cycle, both in light-independent and photodynamic processes, is used in clinical practice. At the same time, the molecular aspects of the interactions of methylene blue with molecular components of coronaviruses are not fully understood. Here, we use Brownian dynamics to identify methylene blue binding sites on the SARS-CoV-2 envelope. The local lipid and protein composition of the coronavirus envelope plays a crucial role in the binding of this cationic dye. Viral structures targeted by methylene blue include the S and E proteins and negatively charged lipids. We compare the obtained results with known experimental data on the antiviral effects of methylene blue to elucidate the molecular basis of its activity against coronaviruses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Aspects of Photodynamic Therapy)
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16 pages, 4008 KiB  
Article
Optical Differentiation of Brain Tumors Based on Raman Spectroscopy and Cluster Analysis Methods
by Anuar Ospanov, Igor Romanishkin, Tatiana Savelieva, Alexandra Kosyrkova, Svetlana Shugai, Sergey Goryaynov, Galina Pavlova, Igor Pronin and Victor Loschenov
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(19), 14432; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241914432 - 22 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 946
Abstract
In the present study, various combinations of dimensionality reduction methods with data clustering methods for the analysis of biopsy samples of intracranial tumors were investigated. Fresh biopsies of intracranial tumors were studied in the Laboratory of Neurosurgical Anatomy and Preservation of Biological Materials [...] Read more.
In the present study, various combinations of dimensionality reduction methods with data clustering methods for the analysis of biopsy samples of intracranial tumors were investigated. Fresh biopsies of intracranial tumors were studied in the Laboratory of Neurosurgical Anatomy and Preservation of Biological Materials of N.N. Burdenko Neurosurgery Medical Center no later than 4 h after surgery. The spectra of Protoporphyrin IX (Pp IX) fluorescence, diffuse reflectance (DR) and Raman scattering (RS) of biopsy samples were recorded. Diffuse reflectance studies were carried out using a white light source in the visible region. Raman scattering spectra were obtained using a 785 nm laser. Patients diagnosed with meningioma, glioblastoma, oligodendroglioma, and astrocytoma were studied. We used the cluster analysis method to detect natural clusters in the data sample presented in the feature space formed based on the spectrum analysis. For data analysis, four clustering algorithms with eight dimensionality reduction algorithms were considered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Aspects of Photodynamic Therapy)
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21 pages, 8372 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Antimicrobial Photodynamic Inactivation on the Protein Profile of Dormant Mycolicibacterium smegmatis Containing Endogenous Porphyrins
by Denis M. Shashin, Galina R. Demina, Irina A. Linge, Galina N. Vostroknutova, Arseny S. Kaprelyants, Alexander P. Savitsky and Margarita O. Shleeva
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(18), 13968; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241813968 - 12 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 910
Abstract
During transition into a dormant state, Mycolicibacterium (Mycobacterium) smegmatis cells are able to accumulate free porphyrins that makes them sensitive to photodynamic inactivation (PDI). The formation of dormant cells in a liquid medium with an increased concentration of magnesium (up to [...] Read more.
During transition into a dormant state, Mycolicibacterium (Mycobacterium) smegmatis cells are able to accumulate free porphyrins that makes them sensitive to photodynamic inactivation (PDI). The formation of dormant cells in a liquid medium with an increased concentration of magnesium (up to 25 mM) and zinc (up to 62 µM) resulted in an increase in the total amount of endogenous porphyrins in dormant M. smegmatis cells and their photosensitivity, especially for bacteria phagocytosed by macrophages. To gain insight into possible targets for PDI in bacterial dormant mycobacterial cells, a proteomic profiling with SDS gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry analysis were conducted. Illumination of dormant forms of M. smegmatis resulted in the disappearance of proteins in the separating SDS gel. Dormant cells obtained under an elevated concentration of metal ions were more sensitive to PDI. Differential analysis of proteins with their identification with MALDI-TOF revealed that 45.2% and 63.9% of individual proteins disappeared from the separating gel after illumination for 5 and 15 min, respectively. Light-sensitive proteins include enzymes belonging to the glycolytic pathway, TCA cycle, pentose phosphate pathway, oxidative phosphorylation and energy production. Several proteins involved in protecting against oxygen stress and protein aggregation were found to be sensitive to light. This makes dormant cells highly vulnerable to harmful factors during a long stay in a non-replicative state. PDI caused inhibition of the respiratory chain activity and destroyed enzymes involved in the synthesis of proteins and nucleic acids, the processes which are necessary for dormant cell reactivation and their transition to multiplying bacteria. Because of such multiple targeting, PDI action via endogenous porphyrins could be considered as an effective approach for killing dormant bacteria and a perspective to inactivate dormant mycobacteria and combat the latent form of mycobacteriosis, first of all, with surface localization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Aspects of Photodynamic Therapy)
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Review

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21 pages, 7228 KiB  
Review
Efficacy of Green Synthesized Nanoparticles in Photodynamic Therapy: A Therapeutic Approach
by Mehak Zahra, Alexander Chota, Heidi Abrahamse and Blassan P. George
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(13), 10931; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241310931 - 30 Jun 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1836
Abstract
Cancer is a complex and diverse disease characterized by the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the body. It poses a significant global public health challenge and remains a leading cause of death. The rise in cancer cases and deaths is a significant [...] Read more.
Cancer is a complex and diverse disease characterized by the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the body. It poses a significant global public health challenge and remains a leading cause of death. The rise in cancer cases and deaths is a significant worry, emphasizing the immediate need for increased awareness, prevention, and treatment measures. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) has emerged as a potential treatment for various types of cancer, including skin, lung, bladder, and oesophageal cancer. A key advantage of PDT is its ability to selectively target cancer cells while sparing normal cells. This is achieved by preferentially accumulating photosensitizing agents (PS) in cancer cells and precisely directing light activation to the tumour site. Consequently, PDT reduces the risk of harming surrounding healthy cells, which is a common drawback of conventional therapies such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The use of medicinal plants for therapeutic purposes has a long history dating back thousands of years and continues to be an integral part of healthcare in many cultures worldwide. Plant extracts and phytochemicals have demonstrated the ability to enhance the effectiveness of PDT by increasing the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and promoting apoptosis (cell death) in cancer cells. This natural approach capitalizes on the eco-friendly nature of plant-based photoactive compounds, offering valuable insights for future research. Nanotechnology has also played a pivotal role in medical advancements, particularly in the development of targeted drug delivery systems. Therefore, this review explores the potential of utilizing photosensitizing phytochemicals derived from medicinal plants as a viable source for PDT in the treatment of cancer. The integration of green photodynamic therapy with plant-based compounds holds promise for novel treatment alternatives for various chronic illnesses. By harnessing the scientific potential of plant-based compounds for PDT, we can pave the way for innovative and sustainable treatment strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Aspects of Photodynamic Therapy)
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