Protoporphyrin IX dimethyl ester (PME), a dimethyl esterification of protoporphyrin IX (PpIX), exhibits higher intracellular uptake into NPC/CNE2 cells, a poorly differentiated human nasopharyngeal carcinoma, than does PpIX. Phototoxicity studies reveal PME to be a more potent photosensitizer than is PpIX, at the early and late incubation time points. Correlating phototoxicity with subcellular localization indicates that PME is a more potent photosensitizer when its primary target of photodamage is mitochondria. Also, additional targeting of lysosome enhances phototoxicity.
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Vol. 76 • No. 6