Intracellular prooxidant activity of melatonin induces a survival pathway involving NF-kappaB activation

Published on Friday, 10 April 2015


We have shown that melatonin exerts a prooxidant activity in U937 cells, a tumor human promonocytic cell line.

Here we show that melatonin induces a strong canonical activation of NF-kappaB, inducing IkappaBalpha degradation and the consequential nuclear translocation of p50/p65 subunits.

The timing of NF-kappaB activation overlaps with the timing of reactive oxygen species (ROS) production due to melatonin.

Overexpression of dominant-negative IkappaB, which prevents a possible NF-kappaB activation, transformed melatonin in a proapoptotic molecule.

These data indicate for the first time that melatonin can trigger NF-kappaB activation and might suggest a possible role for ROS induced by melatonin.

Results indicate a possible involvement in the survival pathway of melatonin-generated ROS as secondary messengers.



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