American Chemical Society
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Split and Use: Structural Isomers for Diagnosis and Therapy

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posted on 2020-03-25, 20:09 authored by Yingying Ning, Yi-Wei Liu, Zi-Shu Yang, Yuhang Yao, Lei Kang, Jonathan L. Sessler, Jun-Long Zhang
Diagnostics and therapeutics are generally separate entities in medicine. Theranostics, agents that provide for both modalities, are being developed. However, they often require complex syntheses so as to incorporate within one molecular structure both diagnostic and therapeutic elements. Moreover, their use is often complicated by the disparate dosage requirements for diagnosis and therapy. Herein, we report that closely related porphyrinoid regioisomers produced from the same 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition reaction give rise to products that as their corresponding ytterbium­(III) complexes may be split and used for the separate biological functions that are required for theranostics. Specifically, the cis isomer is luminescent and suitable for NIR imaging, while the trans isomer produces singlet oxygen with a good quantum yield and is thus attractive for use in photodynamic therapy (PDT). Both in vitro and in vivo experiments provide support for the complementary biological functions of the two regioisomers. The present study reveals how ostensibly related regioisomers may be used to switch between diagnosis and therapy. More broadly, it serves to highlight a new approach to creating paired sets of molecules that may be used in combination as effective theranostics.