Photodynamic therapy with the novel photosensitizer chlorophyllin f induces apoptosis and autophagy in human bladder cancer cells.
Lasers Surg Med. 2014 Apr ;46(4):319-34. Epub 2014 Jan 24. PMID: 24464873
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Our group recently synthesized a new, low-cost photosensitizer, chlorophyllin f. In this study, the effects of chlorophyllin f-mediated photodynamic therapy (PDT) and its potential mechanisms were examined in human bladder cancer cells.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: MitoTracker® Green probe and LysoTracker® Green probe were used to label mitochondria and lysosomes, revealing the intracellular localization of chlorophyllin f in 5637 and T24 cells by confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM). The cells were treated with chlorophyllin f-mediated PDT; the photo-cytotoxicityof chlorophyllin f was monitored using the Cell Counting Kit-8 assay, and apoptosis was measured by Annexin V-FITC/PI dual staining. Western blotting, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and staining with Cyto-ID® Autophagy Detection dye, monodansylcadaverine (MDC) and acridine orange were performed to assess autophagy. The role of autophagy was examined by measuring cell viability and apoptosis in both cell lines pretreated with the autophagy inhibitor 3-methyladenine (3-MA).
RESULTS: Chlorophyllin f showed affinity for mitochondria and lysosomes. It exhibited significant photocytotoxicity, resulting in a maximum of 86.51% and 84.88% cell death in 5637 and T24 cells, respectively. Additionally, chlorophyllin f-mediated PDT (f-PDT) also induced a significantly higher percentage of apoptosis in treated cells compared to the control groups (P < 0.05). Moreover, the expression of Beclin1 protein and the proportion of LC3-II:LC3-I in both cell lines significantly increased after f-PDT. Autophagy, characterized by an increase in the formation of Cyto-ID® Autophagy Detection dye-labeled autophagosomes, MDC fluorescent dye-labeled autophagic vacuoles and acridine orange-labeled acidic vesicular organelles (AVOs), was observed in f-PDT-treated cells. TEM also revealed double-membrane autophagosome structures 1 hour after f-PDT. Most importantly, when pretreated with 3-MA, the two cell lines showed more significant photo-cytotoxicityand apoptotic cell death compared to those exposed to f-PDT alone (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: Chlorophyllin f-mediated PDT exerts anti-tumor activity by inducing apoptosis and autophagy, and most importantly, autophagy inhibition enhances f-PDT-mediated apoptotic cell death. These results suggest that chlorophyllin f is a new, effective photosensitizer and that the combination of f-PDT with autophagy inhibitors may be an attractive therapeutic strategy against human non-muscle invasive bladder cancer.