Application of porphyrins as photosensitizers is based on their light-triggered generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that may cause oxidative tissue damage and ultimately kill cells. Cellular membranes are the action grounds of many sensitizers due to their hydrophobic or amphiphilic character as well as the location of many of the targets attacked by ROS. Hence, the binding ability and location of porphyrins in liposomes as simple models of cellular membranes are of outstanding interest. Here we compare mesoporphyrin IX dimethyl ester (MPE) and its nonesterified form, mesoporphyrin IX dihydrochloride (MPCl). Monocomponent small unilamellar vesicles formed of various saturated phosphatidylcholines with incorporated mesoporphyrins were investigated. We determined the binding parameters and the inhomogeneous distribution functions (IDFs) by different fluorescence techniques. We found in general that the binding ability of MPE is considerably greater than that of MPCl. In the case of MPCl, the IDFs suggest that only one of the two binding site types identified earlier for MPE ("site II") exists; the other one ("site I") vanishes while a new one appears ("site III"). We can confirm that "site I" is located between the two lipid layers, "site II" is situated between the hydrocarbon chains, while the location of the novel "site III" is along the outer part of the hydrocarbon chains partially inserted between the lipid head groups.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Materials Chemistry