Melatonin enhances mitochondrial ATP synthesis, reduces ROS formation and mediates translocation of the nuclear erythroid 2-related factor 2 resulting in activation of phase-2 antioxidant enzymes
J Pineal Res. 2016 Apr 27. Epub 2016 Apr 27. PMID: 27117941
Melatonin is an ubiquitous molecule with a variety of functions including potent antioxidative properties. Due to its lipophilic character, it easily crosses cellular and intracellular membranes and reaches all subcellular organelles. Because of its ability to scavenge free radicals, melatonin protects against oxidative stress, e.g. induced by ultraviolet radiation (UVR). Here, we investigated in a dose- (0, 10, 25, 50 mJ/cm(2) ) and time-dependent (0, 4, 24, 48 hr post-UVR) manner, whether melatonin prevents the UVR-mediated alterations in ATP synthesis and the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in normal human epidermal keratinocytes (NHEK). Additionally, we evaluated the molecular mechanism of action of melatonin with regard to activation of phase-2 antioxidative enzymes via nuclear erythroid 2-related factor (Nrf2). We found that (i) melatonin counteracted UVR-induced alterations in the ATP synthesis and reduced free radical formation; (ii) melatonin induced the translocation of Nrf2 transcription factor from the cytosol into the nucleus resulting in, (iii) enhanced gene expression of phase-2 antioxidative enzymes includingγ-glutamylcysteine synthetase (γ-GCS), heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) and NADPH: quinone dehydrogenase-1 (NQO1) representing an elevated antioxidative response of keratinocytes. These results suggest that melatonin not only directly scavenges ROS, but also significantly induces the activation of phase-2antioxidative enzymes via the Nrf2 pathway uncovering a new action mechanism that supports the ability of keratinocytes to protect themselves from UVR-mediated oxidative stress. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.