Red-light-activatable "AND gated" antitumor immunosuppressant

06 September 2023, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Immunosuppressants are emerging as promising candidates for cancer therapy with lower cytotoxicity compared to traditional chemotherapy drugs; yet, the intrinsic side effects such as immunosuppression remain a critical concern. Herein, we introduce a photoactivatable antitumor immunosuppressant called dmBODIPY-FTY720 (BF) that shows no cytotoxicity but can be temporally and locally activated by deep-red light illumination to induce tumor cell apoptosis. To further reduce potential side effects, we integrate BF with another classic photosensitizer called methylene blue (MB) that is activated under the same wavelength of deep-red light (>650 nm), and successfully establish a red light activatable AND Boolean logic gate through a mechanism which we found to be synergetic apoptotic induction. At further decreased dosages, deep-red light illumination does not induce cell death in the presence of either BF or MB, but significant cancer cell death is triggered in the presence of both drugs. Therefore, the dosage of BF is further reduced which will be highly beneficial to minimize any potential side effects of BF. This AND gated strategy has been successfully applied in vivo for effective suppression of hepatocarcinoma tumor in living mice.


antitumor immunosuppressant
logic gate
BODIPY photocage
red light
photodynamic therapy


Comments are not moderated before they are posted, but they can be removed by the site moderators if they are found to be in contravention of our Commenting Policy [opens in a new tab] - please read this policy before you post. Comments should be used for scholarly discussion of the content in question. You can find more information about how to use the commenting feature here [opens in a new tab] .
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy [opens in a new tab] and Terms of Service [opens in a new tab] apply.