MT1 melatonin receptors and their role in the oncostatic action of melatonin

Published on Friday, 24 June 2016


Melatonin, the main hormone produced by the pineal gland, strongly inhibits the growth of cancer cells in vitro and in vivo.

Some publications indicate that the addition of melatonin to culture medium slows the proliferation of some cancer cell lines.

It is also suggested that melatonin used as an adjuvant benefits the effectiveness and tolerance of chemotherapy.

The mechanisms of this are not fully understood, but melatonin receptors might be one of the most important elements.

Two distinct types of membrane-bound melatonin receptors have been identified in humans: MT1 (Mel1a) and MT2 (Mel1b) receptors. These subtypes are 60% homologous at the amino-acid level.

MT1 receptors are G-protein-coupled receptors. Through the a subunit of G protein, melatonin receptors stimulate an adenylate cyclase and decrease the level of cAMP. This has a significant influence on cell proliferation and has been confirmed in many tests on different cell lines, such as S-19, B-16 murine melanoma cells, and breast cancer cells.

It seems that expression of the MT1 melatonin receptors benefits the efficacy of melatonin treatment.

Melatonin and its receptors may provide a promising way to establish new alternative therapeutic approaches in human cancer prevention.



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See also:

- About Melatonin;

- Evaluation of the safety and efficacy of the first-line treatment with somatostatin combined with melatonin, retinoids, vitamin D3, and low doses of cyclophosphamide in 20 cases of breast cancer: a preliminary report;

- The Di Bella Method (DBM) improved survival, objective response and performance status in a retrospective observational clinical study on 122 cases of breast cancer;

- Complete objective response to biological therapy of plurifocal breast carcinoma.