This study was designed to provide more detailed information on the subcellular sites of binding of the porphycene, termed 9-capronyloxytetrakis (methoxyethyl) porphycene (CPO), with a fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) technique. The proximity of CPO to two fluorescent probes was determined: nonyl acridine orange (NAO), a dye with specific affinity for the mitochondrial lipid cardiolipin, and dihexaoxacarbocyanine iodide (DiOC6), an agent that labels the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). FRET spectra indicated energy transfer between DiOC6 and CPO but no significant transfer between NAO and CPO. These results confirm data obtained by fluorescence microscopy, suggesting a similar pattern of subcellular localization by CPO and DiOC6 but not by CPO and NAO. However, when cells containing CPO were irradiated and then loaded with NAO, FRET between the two fluorophores was observed. Hence, a relocalization of CPO can occur during irradiation. These data provide an explanation for recent studies on CPO-catalyzed photodamage to both ER and mitochondrial Bcl-2.