Melatonin Targets Metabolism in Head and Neck Cancer Cells by Regulating Mitochondrial Structure and Function
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AuthorGuerra Librero Rite, Ana; Fernández Gil, Beatriz Irene; Florido Ruiz, Javier; Martínez Ruiz, Laura; Rodríguez Santana, César; Shen, Ying-Qiang; López Rodríguez, Alba; Rusanova Rusanova, Iryna; Acuña Castroviejo, Darío; Haro Muñoz, Tomás de; Escames Rosa, Germaine
MelatoninHead and neck cancer cellsMitochondriaOXPHOSGlycolysisMitophagyApoptosisFree radicals
Guerra-Librero, A.; Fernandez-Gil, B.I.; Florido, J.; Martinez-Ruiz, L.; Rodríguez-Santana, C.; Shen, Y.-Q.; García-Verdugo, J.M.; López-Rodríguez, A.; Rusanova, I.; Quiñones-Hinojosa, A.; et al. Melatonin Targets Metabolism in Head and Neck Cancer Cells by Regulating Mitochondrial Structure and Function. Antioxidants 2021, 10, 603. [https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox10040603]
SponsorshipMinisterio de Economia, Industria y Competitividad y por el Fondo de Desarrollo Regional FEDER, Spain SAF2013-49019 SAF2017-85903-P; Junta de Andalucia P07-CTS-03135 P10-CTS-5784 CTS-101; Ministerio de Educacion Cultura y Deporte, Spain; Plan Propio de Investigacion of the University of Granada
Metabolic reprogramming, which is characteristic of cancer cells that rapidly adapt to the hypoxic microenvironment and is crucial for tumor growth and metastasis, is recognized as one of the major mechanisms underlying therapeutic resistance. Mitochondria, which are directly involved in metabolic reprogramming, are used to design novel mitochondria-targeted anticancer agents. Despite being targeted by melatonin, the functional role of mitochondria in melatonin's oncostatic activity remains unclear. In this study, we aim to investigate the role of melatonin in mitochondrial metabolism and its functional consequences in head and neck cancer. We analyzed the effects of melatonin on head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) cell lines (Cal-27 and SCC-9), which were treated with 100, 500, and 1500 mu M of melatonin for 1, 3, and 5 days, and found a connection between a change of metabolism following melatonin treatment and its effects on mitochondria. Our results demonstrate that melatonin induces a shift to an aerobic mitochondrial metabolism that is associated with changes in mitochondrial morphology, function, fusion, and fission in HNSCC. We found that melatonin increases oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) and inhibits glycolysis in HNSCC, resulting in increased ROS production, apoptosis, and mitophagy, and decreased cell proliferation. Our findings highlight new molecular pathways involved in melatonin's oncostatic activity, suggesting that it could act as an adjuvant agent in a potential therapy for cancer patients. We also found that high doses of melatonin, such as those used in this study for its cytotoxic impact on HNSCC cells, might lead to additional effects through melatonin receptors.