Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a kind of photochemo-therapeutic treatment that exerts its effect mainly through the induction of cell death. Distinct types of cell death may be elicited by different PDT regimes. In this study, the mechanisms involved in the death of human epidermoid carcinoma A431 cells triggered by PDT with Photofrin® (a clinically approved photosensitizer) were characterized. Photofrin distributes dynamically in A431 cells; the plasma membranes and Golgi complex are the main target sites of Photofrin after a brief (3 h) and prolonged (24 h) incubation, respectively. Cells with differentially localized Photofrin displayed distinct death phenotypes in response to PDT. The effects of PDT on cells with plasma membrane-localized Photofrin were further studied in details. Cells stopped proliferating post PDT at Photofrin dose >7 μg/ml, and at higher dose (28 μg/ml) plasma membrane disruption and cell swelling were observed immediately after PDT. Dramatic alterations of several important signaling events were detected in A431 cells post Photofrin®-PDT, including (i) immediate formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), (ii) rapid activation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase, (iii) delayed activation of caspase-3 and cleavage of polyADP-ribose polymerase and p21-activated kinase 2, and (iv) loss of mitochondrial membrane potential. Intriguingly, the characteristics of typical apoptosis such as phosphatidylserine externalization and DNA fragmentation were not detected in the cell death process caused by this PDT regime. In conclusion, our results show that when plasma membranes are the main targets, Photofrin-PDT can lead to instant ROS formation and subsequent activation of downstream signaling events similar to those elicited by many apoptotic stimuli, but the damage of plasma membranes renders the death phenotype more necrosis like.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- 醫藥 (全部)