Melatonin and cancer suppression: insights into its effects on DNA methylation

Amirhossein Davoodvandi, Banafsheh Nikfar, Russel J. Reiter, Zatollah Asemi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Melatonin is an important naturally occurring hormone in mammals. Melatonin-mediated biological effects include the regulation of circadian rhythms, which is important for optimal human health. Also, melatonin has a broad range of immunoenhancing actions. Moreover, its oncostatic properties, especially regarding breast cancer, involve a variety cancer-inhibitory processes and are well documented. Due to their promising effects on the prognosis of cancer patients, anti-cancer drugs with epigenetic actions have attracted a significant amount of attention in recent years. Epigenetic modifications of cancers are categorized into three major processes including non-coding RNAs, histone modification, and DNA methylation. Hence, the modification of the latter epigenetic event is currently considered an effective strategy for treatment of cancer patients. Thereby, this report summarizes the available evidence that investigated melatonin-induced effects in altering the status of DNA methylation in different cancer cells and models, e.g., malignant glioma and breast carcinoma. Also, we discuss the role of artificial light at night (ALAN)-mediated inhibitory effects on melatonin secretion and subsequent impact on global DNA methylation of cancer cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number73
JournalCellular and Molecular Biology Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • DNA methylation
  • DNMT
  • Epigenetics
  • Melatonin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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