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ISSN 1998-9539

Copper Сomplexes of Сhlorin Derivatives of Chlorophyll a as Potential Photosensitizers for Medical Purposes

D.V. Belykh,a@1 A.S. Kozlov,b Y.I. Pylina,c I.S. Khudyaeva,a А.S. Benditkis,b A.A. Krasnovskyb@2

aInstitute of Chemistry of Komi Scientific Centre of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 167000 Syktyvkar, Russia

bFederal Research Centre “Fundamentals of Biotechnology” of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 119071 Moscow, , Russia

cInstitute of Biology of Komi Scientific Centre of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 167982 Syktyvkar, Russia

@1Corresponding authors E-mail:

@2Corresponding authors E-mail:


DOI: 10.6060/mhc190128b

Macroheterocycles 2019 12(1) 68-74


The absorption and fluorescence properties, singlet oxygen photosensitization and  photoinduced cytotoxic activity in the HeLa cells line were investigated for copper complexes of chlorins (methylpyropheophorbide a and exocycle-free 13-amide derivatives of chlorin e6 dimethyl ether) obtained by chemical modification of chlorophyll a. The results are compared with the properties of metal-free analogs. It is shown that both copper complexes and metal free chlorins generate singlet oxygen under photoexcitation in solutions and show distinct phototoxicity in living cells. The photosensitizing effect of copper complexes is 4–13 times smaller, but remains rather high. According to the biological experiments, the activity of copper complexes is sufficient for photodynamic killing of HeLa cells. At the same time, the dark toxicity of copper complexes is lower than that of metal free chlorins. These data allow us to consider copper complexes of chlorins as a new class of photosensitizers, potentially suitable for the use in PDT.


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