The photosensitizing activity of haematoporphyrin on mollicutes

G. Bertoloni, A. Viel, A. Grossato, G. Jori

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The photosensitizing activity of haematoporphyrin (HP) on Mycoplasma hominis and Acholeplasma laidlawii was studied as a function of the phase of growth and the amount of sterols in the cell membrane. Less HP was bound to cells when the membrane had a high sterol content. Both strains in the exponential but not in the stationary phase of growth were sensitive to HP treatment (above 1 μg ml-1) in the dark. Visible light irradiation of HP-loaded cells caused in all cases a decrease of cell survival, with concomitant changes in the pattern of membrane proteins that suggested protein-protein cross-linking, and the appearance of ultrastructural alterations (rounded and lysed cells); the photosensitivity was indirectly related to the sterol content of the cell membrane. On the whole, our findings suggest that the cell membrane is a major target for HP photosensitization of mycoplasma cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2217-2223
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of General Microbiology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology


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