Part I: Molecular Biology
New Actions of Melatonin on Tumor Metabolism and GrowthBlask D.E. · Sauer L.A. · Dauchy R. · Holowachuk E.W. · Ruhoff M.S.
Bassett Research Institute, Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital, Cooperstown, N.Y., USA
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Melatonin is an important inhibitor of cancer growth promotion while the essential polyunsaturated fatty acid, linoleic acid is an important promoter of cancer progression. Following its rapid uptake by tumor tissue, linoleic acid is oxidized via a lipoxygenase to the growth-signaling molecule, 13-hydroxyoctadecadienoic acid (13-HODE) which stimulates epidermal growth factor (EGF)-dependent mitogenesis. The uptake of plasma linoleic acid and its metabolism to 13-HODE by rat hepatoma 7288CTC, which expresses both fatty acid transport protein and melatonin receptors, is inhibited by melatonin in a circadian-dependent manner. This inhibitory effect of melatonin is reversible with either pertussis toxin, forskolin or cAMP. While melatonin inhibits tumor linoleic acid uptake, metabolism and growth, pinealectomy or constant light exposure stimulates these processes. Thus, melatonin and linoleic acid represent two important environmental signals that interact in a unique manner to regulate tumor progression and ultimately the host-cancer balance.
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