Mitochondrial function is controlled by melatonin and its metabolites in vitro in human melanoma cells

Bernadetta Bilska, Fiona Schedel, Anna Piotrowska, Joanna Stefan, Michal Zmijewski, Elżbieta Pyza, Russel J. Reiter, Kerstin Steinbrink, Andrzej T. Slominski, Meri K. Tulic, Konrad Kleszczyński

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Melanoma is a leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide. Although immunotherapy has revolutionized the treatment for some patients, resistance towards therapy and unwanted side effects remain a problem for numerous individuals. Broad anti-cancer activities of melatonin are recognized; however, additional investigations still need to be elucidated. Herein, using various human melanoma cell models, we explore in vitro the new insights into the regulation of melanoma by melatonin and its metabolites which possess, on the other side, high safety profiles and biological meaningful. In this study, using melanotic (MNT-1) and amelanotic (A375, G361, Sk-Mel-28) melanoma cell lines, the comparative oncostatic responses, the impact on melanin content (for melanotic MNT-1 melanoma cells) as well as the mitochondrial function controlled by melatonin, its precursor (serotonin), a kynuric (N1-acetyl-N2-formyl-5-methoxykynuramine, AFMK) and indolic pathway (6-hydroxymelatonin, 6(OH)MEL and 5-methoxytryptamine, 5-MT) metabolites were assessed. Namely, significant disturbances were observed in bioenergetics as follows: (i) uncoupling of oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS), (ii) attenuation of glycolysis, (iii) dissipation of mitochondrial transmembrane potential (mtΔΨ) accompanied by (iv) massive generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and (v) decrease of glucose uptake. Collectively, these results together with previously published reports provide a new biological potential and make an imperative to consider using melatonin or its metabolites for complementary future treatments of melanoma-affected patients; however, these associations should be additionally investigated in clinical setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere12728
JournalJournal of pineal research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • extracellular acidification rate
  • glucose uptake
  • melanoma cells
  • metabolites of melatonin
  • mitochondrial function
  • oxygen consumption rate
  • transmission electron microscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology


Dive into the research topics of 'Mitochondrial function is controlled by melatonin and its metabolites in vitro in human melanoma cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this