Melatonin inhibits Warburg-dependent cancer by redirecting glucose oxidation to the mitochondria: a mechanistic hypothesis

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Published on Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Abstract

Melatonin has the ability to intervene in the initiation, progression and metastasis of some experimental cancers. A large variety of potential mechanisms have been advanced to describe the metabolic and molecular events associated with melatonin's interactions with cancer cells.

There is one metabolic perturbation that is common to a large number of solid tumors and accounts for the ability of cancer cells to actively proliferate, avoid apoptosis, and readily metastasize, i.e., they use cytosolic aerobic glycolysis (the Warburg effect) to rapidly generate the necessary ATP required for the high metabolic demands of the cancer cells.

There are several drugs, referred to as glycolytic agents, that cause cancer cells to abandon aerobic glycolysis and shift to the more conventional mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation for ATP synthesis as in normal cells. In doing so, glycolytic agents also inhibit cancer growth.

Herein, we hypothesize that melatonin also functions as an inhibitor of cytosolic glycolysis in cancer cells using mechanisms, i.e., downregulation of the enzyme (pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase) that interferes with the conversion of pyruvate to acetyl CoA in the mitochondria, as do other glycolytic drugs.

In doing so, melatonin halts the proliferative activity of cancer cells, reduces their metastatic potential and causes them to more readily undergo apoptosis. This hypothesis is discussed in relation to the previously published reports.

Whereas melatonin is synthesized in the mitochondria of normal cells, we hypothesize that this synthetic capability is not present in cancer cell mitochondria because of the depressed acetyl CoA; acetyl CoA is necessary for the rate limiting enzyme in melatonin synthesis, arylalkylamine-N-acetyltransferase.

Finally, the ability of melatonin to switch glucose oxidation from the cytosol to the mitochondria also explains how tumors that become resistant to conventional chemotherapies are re-sensitized to the same treatment when melatonin is applied.

 

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See also:

- Official Web Site: The Di Bella Method;

- The Di Bella Method (A Fixed Part - Melatonin tablets. From 30-40mg/day up to 200mg/day orally in patients with advanced stage of cancer disease and/or patients without respond to traditional treatments);

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- Publication: Melatonin anticancer effects: Review (from Di Bella's Foundation);

- Publication: Key aspects of melatonin physiology: 30 years of research (from Di Bella's Foundation);

- The Di Bella Method (A Variable Part - Omega 3 Essential/Unsaturated Fatty Acids. From 1.5 grams up to 3.0 grams per day orally);

- The Di Bella Method (A Fixed Part - Somatostatin, Octreotide, Sandostatin LAR, analogues and/or derivatives);

- Somatostatin in oncology, the overlooked evidences - In vitro, review and in vivo publications;

- Publication, 2018 Jul: Over-Expression of GH/GHR in Breast Cancer and Oncosuppressor Role of Somatostatin as a Physiological Inhibitor (from Di Bella's Foundation);

- Publication, 2018 Sep: The over-expression of GH/GHR in tumour tissues with respect to healthy ones confirms its oncogenic role and the consequent oncosuppressor role of its physiological inhibitor, somatostatin: a review of the literature (from Di Bella's Foundation);

- Publication, 2019 Aug: The Entrapment of Somatostatin in a Lipid Formulation: Retarded Release and Free Radical Reactivity (from Di Bella's Foundation);

- Publication, 2019 Sep: Effects of Somatostatin and Vitamin C on the Fatty Acid Profile of Breast Cancer Cell Membranes (from Di Bella's Foundation);

- The Di Bella Method (A Fixed Part - Bromocriptine and/or Cabergoline);

- The Di Bella Method (A Fixed Part - Cyclophosphamide 50mg tablets and/or Hydroxyurea 500mg tablets, one or two per day);

- The Di Bella Method (A Fixed Part - Vitamin C/Ascorbic Acid, 2–4 grams, twice a day orally);

- The Di Bella Method (A Fixed Part - Alpha tocopheryl acetate/Vitamin E, approximately 20 grams per day orally);

- Cancer and Vitamin E (analogues and/or derivatives) and cancer - In vitro, review and in vivo publications;

- Solution of retinoids in vitamin E in the Di Bella Method biological multitherapy;

- The Di Bella Method (A Fixed Part - All-Trans Retinoic Acid, Analogues and/or Derivatives - Approximately 60mg per day orally: 40mg per day Beta-Carotene/β-Carotene, 10mg per day ATRA and 10mg per day Axerophthol palmitate);

- All-Trans-Retinoic Acid (ATRA - analogues and/or derivatives) - In vitro, review and in vivo publications;

- The Synergism of Somatostatin, Melatonin, Vitamins Prolactin and Estrogen Inhibitors Increased Survival, Objective Response and Performance Status In 297 Cases of Breast Cancer;

- Complete objective response, stable for 5 years, with the Di Bella Method, of multiple-metastatic carcinoma of the breast;

- 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;

- Recurrent Glioblastoma Multiforme (grade IV – WHO 2007): a case of complete objective response achieved by means of the concomitant administration of Somatostatin and Octreotide – Retinoids – Vitamin E – Vitamin D3 – Vitamin C – Melatonin – D2 R agonists (Di Bella Method – DBM) associated with Temozolomide;

- The Di Bella Method DBM improved survival objective response and performance status in a retrospective observational clinical study on 23 tumours of the head and neck;

- Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia: Long-Lasting Remission with Combination of Cyclophosphamide, Somatostatin, Bromocriptine, Retinoids, Melatonin, and ACTH;

- Somatostatin, retinoids, melatonin, vitamin D, bromocriptine, and cyclophosphamide in advanced non-small-cell lung cancer patients with low performance status;

- Somatostatin, retinoids, melatonin, vitamin D, bromocriptine, and cyclophosphamide in chemotherapy-pretreated patients with advanced lung adenocarcinoma and low performance status;

- Observations on the Report of a case of pulmonary adenocarcinoma with lymph node, hepatic and osseus metastasis;

- Pleural Mesothelioma: clinical records on 11 patients treated with Di Bella's Method;

- Malignant pleural mesothelioma, stage T3-T4. Consideration of a case study;

- Excellent result in a Mesothelioma case treated exclusively with Di Bella Method for over 4 years and still treatment with positive results;

- A case of advanced Multiple Myeloma treated with Di Bella Method (DBM) into total remission for 13 years;

- Neuroblastoma: Complete objective response to biological treatment;

- Cyclophosphamide plus Somatostatin, Bromocriptin, Retinoids, Melatonin and ACTH in the Treatment of Low-grade Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphomas at Advanced Stage: Results of a Phase II Trial;

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- Low-grade Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma at Advanced Stage: A Case Successfully Treated With Cyclophosphamide Plus Somatostatin, Bromocriptine, Retinoids, and Melatonin;

- The Di Bella Method (DBM) improved survival, objective response and performance status in a retrospective observational clinical study on 55 cases of Lymphomas;

- Large B-cells Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, Stage IV-AE: a Case Report;

- Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, Stage III-B-E: a Case Report;

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- The Di Bella Method (DBM) in the treatment of prostate cancer: a preliminary retrospective study of 16 patients and a review of the literature;

- Congenital fibrosarcoma in complete remission with Somatostatin, Retinoids, Vitamin D3, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Melatonin, Calcium, Chondroitin sulfate associated with low doses of Cyclophosphamide in a 14-year Follow Up.