Melatonin Represses Metastasis in Her2-Postive Human Breast Cancer Cells by Suppressing RSK2 Expression

Published on Friday, 23 September 2016


The importance of the circadian/melatonin signal in suppressing the metastatic progression of breast and other cancers has been reported by numerous laboratories including our own.

Currently, the mechanisms underlying the anti-metastatic actions of melatonin have not been well established.

In the present study, the anti-metastatic actions of melatonin were evaluated and compared on the ERa-negative, Her2-positive SKBR-3 breast tumor cell line and ERa-positive MCF-7 cells overexpressing a constitutively active HER2.1 construct (MCF-7Her2.1 cells).

Activation of Her2 is reported to induce the expression and/or phosphorylation-dependent activation of numerous kinases and transcription factors that drive drug resistance and metastasis in breast cancer. A key signaling node activated by the Her2/Mapk/Erk pathway is Rsk2, which has been shown to induce numerous signaling pathways associated with the development of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and metastasis including: Creb, Stat3, cSrc, Fak, Pax, Fascin, and actin polymerization.

The data demonstrate that melatonin (both endogenous and exogenous) significantly represses this invasive/metastatic phenotype through a mechanism that involves the suppression of EMT, either by promoting mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition (MET), and/or by inhibiting key signaling pathways involved in later stages of metastasis.

These data, combined with our earlier in vitro studies, support the concept that maintenance of elevated and extended duration of nocturnal melatonin levels plays a critical role in repressing the metastatic progression of breast cancer.

IMPLICATIONS: Melatonin inhibition of Rsk2 represses the metastatic phenotype in breast cancer cells suppressing EMT or inhibiting other mechanisms that promote metastasis; disruption of the melatonin signal may promote metastatic progression in breast cancer.



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See also:

- About Melatonin;

- Evaluation of the safety and efficacy of the first-line treatment with somatostatin combined with melatonisn, 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.