Eur J Med Chem 2018 Mar 2;147:66-76. Epub 2018 Feb 2.
Daegu Cancer Center, Research and Development Unit of Dongsung Pharmaceuticals Daegu, 41061, Republic of Korea. Electronic address:
Curcumin (cur) has been comprehensively studied for its various biological properties, more precisely for its antitumor potential and it has shown the promising results as well. On the other hand, Chlorin e6 (Ce6) has mostly been used as a photosensitizer in photodynamic therapy (PDT) against a variety of carcinomas. In the present study, we have synthesized a series of Chlorin e6-curcumin (Ce6-cur) conjugates and investigated their photosensitizing potential against pancreatic cancer cell lines. All the synthesized compounds were characterized by UV, H NMR, C NMR and LC-MS. These Ce6-cur conjugates showed better physicochemical properties and higher singlet oxygen generation capability. The cellular uptake was studied in AsPC-1 cells using fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS). Compound 17 was rapidly internalized within 30 min and sustained for 24 h. Compound 17 showed excellent PDT efficacy with IC of 40, 35 and 41 nM against AsPC-1, MIA PaCa-2 and PANC-1 respectively with exceptional dark/phototoxicity ratio in the range of 2371-7500. Moreover, the treatment of compound 17 upregulated the expression of BAX, Cytochrome-C and cleaved caspase 9 while downregulating the Bcl-2 expression an anti-apoptotic protein marker. These results demonstrate outstanding capability of compound 17 as a potent photosensitizer which could improve the PDT efficacy in pancreatic cancer patients.