Inhibition of Connexin 26/43 and Extracellular-Regulated Kinase Protein Plays a Critical Role in Melatonin Facilitated Gap Junctional Intercellular Communication in Hydrogen Peroxide-Treated HaCaT Keratinocyte Cells

Hyo-Jung Lee; Hyo-Jeong Lee; Eun Jung Sohn; Eun-Ok Lee; Jin-Hyoung Kim; Min-Ho Lee; Sung-Hoon Kim
January 2012
Evidence-based Complementary & Alternative Medicine (eCAM);2012, Vol. 2012, p1
Academic Journal
Though melatonin was known to regulate gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) in chick astrocytes and mouse hepatocytes, the underlying mechanism by melatonin was not elucidated in hydrogen peroxide- (H2O2-) treated HaCaT keratinocyte cells until now. In the current study, though melatonin at 2m M and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) at 300 μ M showed weak cytotoxicity in HaCaT keratinocyte cells, melatonin significantly suppressed the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in H2O2-treated HaCaT cells compared to untreated controls. Also, the scrape-loading dye-transfer assay revealed that melatonin enhances the intercellular communication by introducing Lucifer Yellow into H2O2-treated cells. Furthermore, melatonin significantly enhanced the expression of connexin 26 (Cx26) and connexin 43 (Cx43) at mRNA and protein levels, but not that of connexin 30 (Cx30) in H2O2-treated HaCaT cells. Of note, melatonin attenuated the phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated protein kinases (ERKs)more than p38 MAPK or JNK in H2O2-treated HaCaT cells. Conversely, ERK inhibitor PD98059 promoted the intercellular communication in H2O2-treated HaCaT cells. Furthermore, combined treatment of melatonin (200 μ M) and vitamin C (10 μg/mL) significantly reduced ROS production in H2O2-treated HaCaT cells. Overall, these findings support the scientific evidences that melatonin facilitates gap junctional intercellular communication in H2O2-treated HaCaT keratinocyte cells via inhibition of connexin 26/43 and ERK as a potent chemopreventive agent.


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