Cells (Aug 2019)

The Cisplatin-Derived Increase of Mitochondrial Reactive Oxygen Species Enhances the Effectiveness of Photodynamic Therapy via Transporter Regulation

  • Hiromi Kurokawa,
  • Hiromu Ito,
  • Hirofumi Matsui

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 8, no. 8
p. 918


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Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a cancer treatment involving the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by laser irradiation of porphyrins that accumulate in cancer tissues. 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA), a porphyrin precursor, is often used as a photosensitizer. ALA is imported into cells via peptide transporter 1 (PEPT1), and porphyrin is exported via ATP-binding cassette member 2 of subfamily G (ABCG2). Thus, cancer cell-specific porphyrin accumulation involves regulation of both transporters to enhance the ALA-PDT effect. We reported previously that mitochondrial ROS (mitROS) upregulated PEPT1 expression and downregulated ABCG2 expression. Therefore, we propose that increasing mitROS production will enhance ALA-PDT cytotoxicity. Cisplatin is a chemotherapeutic drug that induces intracellular ROS generation. In this study, we investigated whether cisplatin-increased mitROS production in gastric cancer cell lines (RGK36 and RGK45) enhanced the cytotoxicity of ALA-PDT by regulation the expression of both PEPT1 and ABCG2. The results showed that cisplatin increased intracellular mitROS production in cancer but not normal cells (RGM1). PEPT1 was upregulated and ABCG2 downregulated in cancer cells treated with cisplatin. Moreover, intracellular porphyrin accumulation and ALA-PDT cytotoxicity increased. We conclude that cisplatin treatment increases the intracellular mitROS concentration and upregulates PEPT1 and downregulates ABCG2 expression.