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Equilibrium and Kinetic Studies of the Interactions of a Porphyrin with Low-Density Lipoproteins

Biophysical Journal
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/s0006-3495(02)75346-0
  • Photobiophysics
  • Biology
  • Medicine


Abstract Low-density lipoproteins (LDL) play a key role in the delivery of photosensitizers to tumor cells in photodynamic therapy. The interaction of deuteroporphyrin, an amphiphilic porphyrin, with LDL is examined at equilibrium and the kinetics of association/dissociation are determined by stopped-flow. Changes in apoprotein and porphyrin fluorescence suggest two classes of bound porphyrins. The first class, characterized by tryptophan fluorescence quenching, involves four well-defined sites. The affinity constant per site is 8.75 × 10 7 M −1 (cumulative affinity 3.5 × 10 8 M −1). The second class corresponds to the incorporation of up to 50 molecules into the outer lipidic layer of LDL with an affinity constant of 2 × 10 8 M −1. Stopped-flow experiments involving direct LDL porphyrin mixing or porphyrin transfer from preloaded LDL to albumin provide kinetic characterization of the two classes. The rate constants for dissociation of the first and second classes are 5.8 and 15 s −1; the association rate constants are 5 × 10 8 M −1 s −1 per site and 3 × 10 9 M −1 s −1, respectively. Both fluorescence and kinetic analysis indicate that the first class involves regions at the boundary between lipids and the apoprotein. The kinetics of porphyrin-LDL interactions indicates that changes in the distribution of photosensitizers among various carriers could be very sensitive to the specific tumor microenvironment.

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