We observed that the fluorescing porphyrin, produced after these administrations, was likely to be PpIX since fluorescence spectroscopy of the porphyrins produced endogenously in yeast cells resembles that of PpIX in DMSO and in vivo in the chick’s chorioallantoic membrane model. Also, fluorescence lifetimes of these porphyrins are very similar to that of PpIX in vitro and in vivo. This suggests that PpIX is the main fluorescent compound produced by yeast in our conditions. We found that the conditions at which yeast produces the maximal PpIX were a synchronous administration of 5 μM ALA and 1 mM 2,2’-bipyridyl for yeast incubated in aqueous glucose and 1 mM 2,2’-bipyridyl in the presence of YPD medium.
Such a simple model is of high interest to study basic mechanisms involved in the mitochondrial respiration since PpIX, which is produced in this organelle, can be used as an oxygen sensor, or to perform photodynamic therapy and photodiagnosis. Since the absorption and scattering coefficients of this model are much smaller than those of soft tissues over the visible part of the spectrum, a version of this model loaded with appropriated amounts of light absorbing and scattering particles could be designed as a phantom to mimic tumors containing PpIX, a useful tool to optimize certain cancer photodetection set-ups.