Hematoporphyrin monomethyl ether-mediated sonodynamic therapy induces A-253 cell apoptosis

Yi Zhang, Liangjia Bi, Zheng Hu, Wenwu Cao, Deshu Zhuang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


It has been found that >90% of oral cancer patients suffer from squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). The 5-year survival rate of SCC is ~50%, despite the availability of different treatments. Sonodynamic therapy (SDT) has been developed as a novel therapy for cancer, resisting bacterial infection and inhibiting atherosclerotic plaque progression. The present study investigated the efficacy of hematoporphyrin monomethyl ether (HMME)-mediated SDT on the A-253 epidermoid cancer cell line. The cytotoxicity of HMME and the survival rate of cells following SDT were examined by the MTT assay. Apoptosis and necrosis of cells were detected using flow cytometry with Annexin V and propidium iodide (PI) staining, and fluorescence microscopy with Hoechst 33258 and PI staining. Intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) and Ca2+ levels were measured using a fluorescence microscope based on 2',7'-dichlorofluorescein diacetate and fluo-3/acetoxymethylester, respectively. Results of the MTT assay demonstrated that a lower concentration (<10 µg/ml) of HMME had no significant effect on the A-253 cells, but SDT combined with ultrasonic treatment for 1 min and 10 µg/ml HMME decreased the cell survival rate by 27%. Flow cytometry analysis revealed that A-253 cells in the SDT group had a higher rate of late apoptosis compared with the control group. Furthermore, fluorescence quantitation of apoptotic A-253 cells demonstrated that the percentages of apoptotic cells were increased in the ultrasound and SDT group compared with those in the control group. In the present study, the ROS level in the SDT group was elevated compared with that in the control group. The Ca2+ levels were increased to 181.2 and 268.7% in the ultrasound and SDT groups, respectively, relative to the control group. Taken together, the findings of the present study demonstrated that HMME-SDT significantly induces the apoptosis of A-253 cells together with intracellular ROS generation and Ca2+ overload. Thus, HMME-SDT may be a promising treatment option for patients with SCC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3223-3228
Number of pages6
JournalOncology Letters
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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