Promotion of PDT Efficacy by a Bcl-2 Antagonist


*email: (David Kessel)


Photodynamic therapy (PDT) directed against the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is also known to target antiapoptotic Bcl-2 family proteins. This effect is associated with the initiation of both apoptosis, a cell death pathway, and autophagy, an organelle recycling system that can lead to survival or cell death. In this study, we examined the ability of the Bcl-2 antagonist HA14-1 to promote the photodynamic efficacy of PDT directed at the ER. At concentrations that independently caused only a small loss of viability, HA14-1 markedly enhanced the proapoptotic and phototoxic effects of ER photodamage. These results provide additional evidence that the antiapoptotic properties of Bcl-2 constitute an important determinant of photokilling, and demonstrate that synergistic effects can result when PDT is coupled with pharmacologic suppression of Bcl-2 function.