4 years ago

Melatonin transport into mitochondria

Pedro González-Menéndez, Rosa M. Sainz, Rafael Cernuda-Cernuda, David Hevia, Juan C. Mayo


Melatonin is a well-known, nighttime-produced indole found in bacteria, eukaryotic unicellulars, animals or vascular plants. In vertebrates, melatonin is the major product of the pineal gland, which accounts for its increase in serum during the dark phase, but it is also produced by many other organs and cell types. Such a wide distribution is consistent with its multiple and well-described functions which include from the circadian regulation and adaptation to seasonal variations to immunomodulatory and oncostatic actions in different types of tumors. The discovery of its antioxidant properties in the early 1990s opened a new field of potential protective functions in multiple tissues. A special mention should be made regarding the nervous system, where the indole is considered a major neuroprotector. Furthermore, mitochondria appear as one of the most important targets for the indole’s protective actions. Melatonin’s mechanisms of action vary from the direct molecular interaction with free radicals (free radical scavenger) to the binding to membrane (MLT1A and MLT1B) or nuclear receptors (RZR/RORα). Receptor binding has been associated with some, but not all of the indole functions reported to date. Recently, two new mechanisms of cellular uptake involving the facilitative glucose transporters GLUT/SLC2A and the proton-driven oligopeptide transporter PEPT1/2 have been reported. Here we discuss the potential importance that these newly discovered transport systems could have in determining the actions of melatonin, particularly in the mitochondria. We also argue the relative importance of passive diffusion vs active transport in different parts of the cell.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00018-017-2616-8

DOI: 10.1007/s00018-017-2616-8

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.