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Issue 41, 2020

Thionated organic compounds as emerging heavy-atom-free photodynamic therapy agents

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This minireview focuses on recent progress in developing heavy-atom-free photosensitizers based on the thionation of nucleic acid derivatives and other biocompatible organic compounds for prospective applications in photodynamic therapy. Particular attention is given to the use of thionated nucleobase derivatives as “one-two punch” photodynamic agents. These versatile photosensitizers can act as “Trojan horses” upon metabolization into DNA and exposure to activating light. Their incorporation into cellular DNA increases their selectivity and photodynamic efficacy against highly proliferating skin cancer tumor cells, while simultaneously enabling the use of low irradiation doses both in the presence and in the absence of molecular oxygen. Also reviewed are their primary photochemical reactions, modes of action, and photosensitization mechanisms. New developments of emerging thionated organic photosensitizers absorbing visible and near-infrared radiation are highlighted. Future research directions, as well as, other prospective applications of heavy-atom-free, thionated photosensitizers are discussed.

Graphical abstract: Thionated organic compounds as emerging heavy-atom-free photodynamic therapy agents

Article information

28 Aug 2020
15 Sep 2020
First published
22 Sep 2020

This article is Open Access
All publication charges for this article have been paid for by the Royal Society of Chemistry

Chem. Sci., 2020,11, 11113-11123
Article type

Thionated organic compounds as emerging heavy-atom-free photodynamic therapy agents

L. A. Ortiz-Rodríguez and C. E. Crespo-Hernández, Chem. Sci., 2020, 11, 11113 DOI: 10.1039/D0SC04747C

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence. You can use material from this article in other publications without requesting further permissions from the RSC, provided that the correct acknowledgement is given.

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