Role of nuclear factor-κB in colon cancer cell apoptosis mediated by aminopyropheophorbide photosensitization

Jean-Yves Matroule, Anne Cécile Hellin, Patrice Morlière, A. S. Fabiano, René Santus, Marie Paule Merville, Jacques Piette, Jacques Piette

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aminopyropheophorbide (APP) is a second generation of photosensitizer for photodynamic therapy (PDT). We demonstrated that APP strongly absorbed red light and, after being taken up by colon cancer cells (HCT-116 cells), was localized in cytoplasmic and internal membranes but not in mitochondria. The APP-mediated photosensitization was cytotoxic for HCT-116 cells through an induction of apoptosis. Indeed, DNA fragmentation (DNA laddering and terminal deoxyuridine nick-end labeling) and chromatin condensation (4′,6-diamidine-2′-phenylindole staining) could be visualized soon after photosensitization. Because nuclear factor (NF)-κB is involved in the response to many photosensitizers, we also demonstrated its nuclear translocation in two waves: a rapid and transient one, followed by a slow and sustained phase. The NF-κB turned out to be involved in an antiapoptotic response to APP-mediated photosensitization because the HCT-116 cell line expressing the dominant negative mutant of inhibitor-κBα was more sensitive to apoptosis as measured by DNA fragmentation and caspase activation. These data unambiguously show that a membrane-located photosensitizer can lead to effective apoptosis, reinforcing the idea that PDT can be an effective means to eradicate colon cancer cells.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)540-548
Number of pages9
JournalPhotochemistry and Photobiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 1999
Externally publishedYes

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