Mechanisms of drug photobinding to proteins: Photobinding of suprofen to human serum albumin

J Moser, A Hye, WW Lovell, LK Earl, JV Castell, MA Miranda*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Photobinding of drugs to biomolecules constitutes an important early event in the onset of photoallergy. In the present work, UV irradiation of human serum albumin in the presence of either suprofen (SUP) or its major photoproduct, decarboxylated suprofen (DSUP), has been studied as a model system for drug-photosensitised protein binding. Both dark binding and binding in the presence of light were investigated since this will affect the mode, site and mechanism of drug interaction with the protein. In order to determine the binding features of SUP to albumin, competitive binding experiments were carried out using fluorescent probes specific for site I and II. Suprofen was found to selectively dark bind to site II on HSA. Photobinding of DSUP to HSA was more efficient than SUP. Parallel to this, the intrinsic tryptophan fluorescence of HSA decreased when the protein was previously irradiated in the presence of the photoactive compounds, again being DSUP more efficient compared with SUP. As fluorescence quenching involves electron transfer from the excited Trp to the ground state DSUP, it follows that the photoactive compound binding to HSA must be on (or in close proximity to) site I Trp(214) residue. It appears that photobinding of SUP is largely preceded by its photodecomposition to DSUP which, in turn, associates and photobinds to HSA. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-337
Number of pages5
JournalToxicology in Vitro
Issue number4-5
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Event11th International Workshop on IN Vitro Toxicology - PUEBLO ACANTIILADO, Spain
Duration: 25-Oct-200028-Oct-2000


  • photoallergy
  • photobinding
  • photosensitization
  • protein
  • suprofen

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