Albumin-binding photosensitizer capable of targeting glioma via the SPARC pathway

Xingshu Li, Jae Sang Oh, Yoonji Lee, Eun Chae Lee, Mengyao Yang, Nahyun Kwon, Tae Won Ha, Dong Yong Hong, Yena Song, Hyun Kyu Kim, Byung Hoo Song, Sun Choi, Man Ryul Lee, Juyoung Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Malignant glioma is among the most lethal and frequently occurring brain tumors, and the average survival period is 15 months. Existing chemotherapy has low tolerance and low blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability; therefore, the required drug dose cannot be accurately delivered to the tumor site, resulting in an insufficient drug effect. Methods: Herein, we demonstrate a precision photodynamic tumor therapy using a photosensitizer (ZnPcS) capable of binding to albumin in situ, which can increase the permeability of the BBB and accurately target glioma. Albumin-binding ZnPcS was designed to pass through the BBB and bind to secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine (SPARC), which is abundant in the glioma plasma membrane. Results: When the upper part of a mouse brain was irradiated using a laser (0.2 W cm− 2) after transplantation of glioma and injection of ZnPcS, tumor growth was inhibited by approximately 83.6%, and the 50% survival rate of the treatment group increased by 14 days compared to the control group. In glioma with knockout SPARC, the amount of ZnPcS entering the glioma was reduced by 63.1%, indicating that it can target glioma through the SPARC pathway. Conclusion: This study showed that the use of albumin-binding photosensitizers is promising for the treatment of malignant gliomas. Graphical Abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish
Article number23
JournalBiomaterials Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s).


  • Albumin binding
  • Blood-brain-barrier
  • Glioma
  • Photosensitizer
  • Secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine


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