Main aim

The utilisation of macromolecules in therapy of cancer and other diseases is becoming increasingly relevant. Recent advances in molecular biology and biotechnology have made it possible to improve targeting and design of cytotoxic agents or DNA complexes for clinical applications. To achieve the expected biological effect of these macromolecules in many cases internalisation to the cell cytosol is crucial. At an intracellular level, the most fundamental obstruction for cytosolic release of the therapeutic molecule is the membrane-barrier of the endocytic vesicles. Photochemical internalisation (PCI) is a novel technology for release of endocytosed macromolecules into the cytosol. The technology is based on the use of photosensitizers located in endocytic vesicles that upon activation by light induce a release of macromolecules from their compartmentalization in endocytic vesicles. PCI has been shown to potentiate the biological activity of a large variety of macromolecules and other molecules that do not readily penetrate the plasma membrane, including proteins, peptides, peptide nucleic acids and DNA delivered as a complex with cationic polymers or incorporated in adenovirus. The group’s main focus is to develop PCI for therapeutic purposes.
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