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A Molecular Combination of Zinc(II) Phthalocyanine and Tamoxifen Derivative for Dual Targeting Photodynamic Therapy and Hormone Therapy

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posted on 12.07.2017, 00:00 by Feng-Ling Zhang, Mei-Ru Song, Gan-Kun Yuan, Huan-Nian Ye, Ye Tian, Ming-Dong Huang, Jin-Ping Xue, Zhi-Hong Zhang, Jian-Yong Liu
The combination of photodynamic therapy and other cancer treatment modalities is a promising strategy to enhance therapeutic efficacy and reduce side effects. In this study, a tamoxifen–zinc­(II) phthalocyanine conjugate linked by a triethylene glycol chain has been synthesized and characterized. Having tamoxifen as the targeting moiety, the conjugate shows high specific affinity to MCF-7 breast cancer cells overexpressed estrogen receptors (ERs) and tumor tissues, therefore leading to a cytotoxic effect in the dark due to the cytostatic tamoxifen moiety, and a high photocytotoxicity due to the photosensitizing phthalocyanine unit against the MCF-7 cancer cells. The high photodynamic activity of the conjugate can be attributed to its high cellular uptake and efficiency in generating intracellular reactive oxygen species. Upon addition of exogenous 17β-estradiol as an ER inhibitor, the cellular uptake and photocytotoxicity of the conjugate are reduced significantly. As shown by confocal microscopy, the conjugate is preferentially localized in the lysosomes of the MCF-7 cells.