Further advantages in the treatment of soft-tissue sarcomas will only be achieved by tailoring the adjuvant therapy after surgery. The photochemically directed release of macromolecules from endosomes and lysosomes into the cytosol is a novel technology, named photochemical internalization (PCI), that has been evaluated for treatment of sarcoma cells in vitro. Two human synovial sarcoma cell lines (SW 982 and CME-1) were treated with the photosensitizer meso-tetraphenylporphine with two sulfonate groups on adjacent phenyl rings (TPPS2a) and a plasmid encoding enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) complexed to poly-l-lysine to investigate the influence of PCI on gene transfer and with 5 µg/mL gelonin to investigate PCI of a Type-I ribosome-inactivating protein toxin. In addition, both cell lines were transduced with an Adenovirus serotype 5 encoding the Escherichia coli lacZ gene (AdHCMV-lacZ, expressing β-galactosidase) and treated with TPPS2a and light to evaluate the effect of PCI on the transduction rate. Photochemically induced transfection with the reporter gene EGFP in CME-1 cells increased from 0% of cells at no light to 40% of the cells after 60 s of light exposure. In contrast, the SW 982 cells showed no enhanced expression of the gene. The fraction of virally transduced cells was about doubled in both cell lines by means of PCI, although the transduction was more efficient in the CME-1 cells. Both cell lines became up to four-fold more sensitive to light when combining photochemical treatment with gelonin incubation. Our experiments showed that PCI induced the endocytic escape of therapeutic substances in cells derived from human soft-tissue sarcomas.
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Vol. 78 • No. 3