DOI: 10.3390/pharmaceutics15122776 ISSN: 1999-4923

A Photoactive Supramolecular Complex Targeting PD-L1 Reveals a Weak Correlation between Photoactivation Efficiency and Receptor Expression Levels in Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer Tumor Models

Pietro Delcanale, Manuela Maria Alampi, Andrea Mussini, Claudia Fumarola, Maricla Galetti, Pier Giorgio Petronini, Cristiano Viappiani, Stefano Bruno, Stefania Abbruzzetti
  • Pharmaceutical Science

Photo-immunotherapy uses antibodies conjugated to photosensitizers to produce nanostructured constructs endowed with targeting properties and photo-inactivation capabilities towards tumor cells. The superficial receptor density on cancer cells is considered a determining factor for the efficacy of the photodynamic treatment. In this work, we propose the use of a photoactive conjugate that consists of the clinical grade PD-L1-binding monoclonal antibody Atezolizumab, covalently linked to either the well-known photosensitizer eosin or the fluorescent probe Alexa647. Using single-molecule localization microscopy (direct stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy, dSTORM), and an anti-PD-L1 monoclonal antibody labelled with Alexa647, we quantified the density of PD-L1 receptors exposed on the cell surface in two human non-small-cell lung cancer lines (H322 and A549) expressing PD-L1 to a different level. We then investigated if this value correlates with the effectiveness of the photodynamic treatment. The photodynamic treatment of H322 and A549 with the photo-immunoconjugate demonstrated its potential for PDT treatments, but the efficacy did not correlate with the PD-L1 expression levels. Our results provide additional evidence that receptor density does not determine a priori the level of photo-induced cell death.

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