Characterization of silkworm chlorophyll metabolites as an active photosensitizer for photodynamic therapy

Renke Dai, Richard Shoemaker, David Farrens, Man Jung Han, Choong Sup Kim, Pill Soon Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Silkworm excreta containing chlorophyll metabolites have long been used for their medicinal activities in the Far East. The major chlorophyll derivative (CpD) fraction in the Me2CO extract from the silkworm excreta exhibits strong photodynamic action on mice and human tumor cells in vitro. The main CpD component was isolated, purified, and subjected to extensive structural and characterization studies to assess its photodynamic therapeutic activity. According to the spectral analyses, the structure of the major unknown CpD was determined to be 10-hydroxypheophytin a [1]. The CpD component possessed a high quantum efficiency (50%) for the photosensitized production of singlet molecular oxygen, thus providing a molecular basis for its photodynamic therapeutic efficiency. A further advantage is that the “photooxidation/degradation” product(s) from this CpD retains all the characteristics of a photodynamic sensitizer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1241-1251
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Natural Products
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Organic Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Characterization of silkworm chlorophyll metabolites as an active photosensitizer for photodynamic therapy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this