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ABSTRACT: In this work zinc azaphthalocyanines (AzaPcs) from the group of tetrapyrazinoporphyrazines and zinc azanaphthalocyanines from the group of tetra[6,7]quinoxalinoporphyrazines (TQP) with eight diethylaminoethylsulfanyl substituents were synthesized. Tertiary amines were later quaternized with ethyl iodide to obtain water-soluble photosensitizers (PSs). Quaternized compounds showed high singlet oxygen quantum yields as determined in DMF by monitoring decomposition of 1,3-diphenylisobenzofuran. In water medium, quaternized AzaPc derivatives appeared in monomeric form in a wide range of concentrations while quaternized TQP derivatives showed aggregation at higher concentrations (over 1 microM). Photodynamic activity was tested on Hep2 cells using light of lambda > 640 nm. Both quaternized dyes showed high photodynamic activity (IC(50) = 104 and 220 nm for AzaPc and TQP, respectively). Dark toxicity was not detected even at the highest concentration used in in vitro tests (200 microM) which indicates a promising therapeutic index of these new substances. Tested compounds localized inside the cells mainly within the lysosomes thus suggesting an endocytic mechanism of cellular uptake. No localization within mitochondria was detected. A great advantage of TQP derivatives over other PSs is their very strong absorption at 747 nm that allows activation at wavelengths penetrating deeper into human tissues.
Charles University in PraguePraha, Praha, Czech Republic