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Title: Light-Activated Protoporphyrin IX-Based Polysilsesquioxane Nanoparticles Induce Ferroptosis in Melanoma Cells
The use of nanoparticle-based materials to improve the efficacy of photodynamic therapy (PDT) to treat cancer has been a burgeoning field of research in recent years. Polysilsesquioxane (PSilQ) nanoparticles with remarkable features, such as high loading of photosensitizers, biodegradability, surface tunability, and biocompatibility, have been used for the treatment of cancer in vitro and in vivo using PDT. The PSilQ platform typically shows an enhanced PDT performance following a cell death mechanism similar to the parent photosensitizer. Ferroptosis is a new cell death mechanism recently associated with PDT that has not been investigated using PSilQ nanoparticles. Herein, we synthesized a protoporphyrin IX (PpIX)-based PSilQ platform (PpIX-PSilQ NPs) to study the cell death pathways, with special focus on ferroptosis, during PDT in vitro. Our data obtained from different assays that analyzed Annexin V binding, glutathione peroxidase activity, and lipid peroxidation demonstrate that the cell death in PDT using PpIX-PSilQ NPs is regulated by apoptosis and ferroptosis. These results can provide alternative approaches in designing PDT strategies to enhance therapeutic response in conditions stymied by apoptosis resistance.
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National Science Foundation
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