Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is widely used in clinical practice to influence neoplasms in the presence of a photosensitizer, oxygen, and light source. The main problem of PDT of deep tumors is the problem of delivering excitation light (without lost of its intensity) inside the body. An alternative to the external light sources can be the internal light sources based on luciferase–substrate bioluminescent systems. In our work, we used the NanoLuc–furimazine system as an internal light source. This system can be successfully used to excite the protein photosensitizer miniSOG and to induce the phototoxicity of this flavoprotein in cancer cells during bioluminescent resonance energy transfer (BRET). It was shown that the mechanism of cell death caused by BRET-induced phototoxicity of mimiSOG in the presence of furimazine depends on the intracellular localization of the NanoLuc–miniSOG fusion protein: BRET-mediated activation of miniSOG in mitochondrial localization causes apoptosis, while the membrane localization of PS causes necrosis of cancer cells.
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