459. Enhancement of the Photosensitizing Properties of 6‑Carboxypterin through Covalent Binding to the pH-Responsive and Biocompatible Poly(allylamine Hydrochloride)

Gerardo Armijos-Capa, Jimena S. Tuninetti, Andrés H. Thomas, Mariana P. Serrano, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces (2023), DOI: 10.1021/acsami.3c13121

A polymeric photosensitizer was synthesized through covalent attachment of the natural photosensitizer 6- carboxypterin (Cap) to a poly(allylamine hydrochloride) (PAH) polymer. The optimization of the functionalization steps and purification procedure is described. The overall yield of the functionalization reaction was 67% to generate the modified polymer (PAH-Cap), featuring a Cap substitution degree of approximately 1% and advantageous spectroscopic properties. Photosensitizing properties of PAH-Cap were observed to occur via both photooxidation mechanisms, i.e., type I and type II. This feature was demonstrated using a biologically relevant target molecule, 2′-deoxyguanosine (dG). The spectroscopic, photophysical, and photochemical behaviours in aqueous environments were studied and compared to Cap. To explore possible further relevant biological applications, experiments with PAH-Cap and dG were carried out at physiological pH. PAH-Cap can generate singlet molecular oxygen and initiate an electron transfer process at pH 7 in air-saturated solutions upon UVA irradiation. Moreover, based on its spectroscopic features, visible light can be used to initiate the photooxidation of biological compounds in water, with many interesting advantages compared to free Cap and other related pteridines. These advantages include an enhancement of the photosensitizing effect at physiological pH and the potential of PAHCap for its use as a building block in supramolecular assemblies. The functionalization strategy hereby described can be employed for the preparation of robust photoactive polymers with great potential for its application in photodynamic therapy (PDT) and disinfection technologies.