Melatonin in mitochondria: Mitigating clear and present dangers

Russel J. Reiter, Qiang Ma, Ramaswamy Sharma

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


In cancer cells, glucose is primarily metabolized to pyruvate and then to lactate in the cytosol. By allowing the conversion of pyruvate to acetyl-CoA in mitochondria, melatonin reprograms glucose metabolism in cancer cells to a normal cell phenotype. Acetyl-CoA in the mitochondria also serves as a necessary co-factor for the rate-limiting enzyme in melatonin synthesis, thus ensuring melatonin production in mitochondria of normal cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)86-95
Number of pages10
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2020


  • Free radicals
  • Lactate metabolism
  • Oxidative phosphorylation
  • Oxidative stress
  • Pyruvate dehydrogenase complex
  • Pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase
  • Reactive oxygen species
  • Warburg effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


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