Functional molecules: Photopharmacology

P1: Photocontrolled HDAC inhibitor

Key features: P1 is a potent HDAC2 inhibitor that increases its activity 40x upon irradiation with UV light, reaching IC50 of 0.55 µM. The cis isomer also shows higher toxicity to cancer cells. The activity of P1 is retained in adult mouse brains.


Photochemistry: 365 nm / white light; Half-life: hours


Creators: Wiktor Szymanski, Marilena Ourailidou

Literature: paper 1; paper 2

P2: Photocontrolled BRAFV600E inhibitor

Key features: P2 is a photoswitchable inhibitor of the BRAF kinase that reversibly increases its potency 10-fold under irradiation with UV light.


Photochemistry: 365 nm / white light; Half-life: hours


Creators: Wiktor Szymanski, Mark Hoorens

Literature: paper 1

P3: Photocontrolled glutamate transport inhbitors

Key features: P3 is a photoswitchable glutamate transport inhibitor that enables reversible control of the function of ley glutamate transporters.


Photochemistry: 365 nm / white light; Half-life: hours


Creators: Mark Hoorens, Haigen Fu

Literature: paper 1; paper 2

P4: Photoactivated dopamine

Key features: P4 responds to red light by releasing dopamine.


Photochemistry: 650 nm


Creators: Kaja Sitkowska

Literature: paper 1

P5: Photoswitchable FraC nanopore

Key features: P5 is the Y140C mutant of cytotoxic FraC nanopore, in which the introduced cysteine is modified with a polar azobenzene switch. It enables reversible control of the insertion of FraC into the memberanes of mammalian cells and its toxicity.


Photochemistry: 365 nm / White light


Creators: Jana Volaric, Natalie Mutter

Literature: paper 1