Zinc as an essential trace metal is a ubiquitous component of various molecules of the cell. Studies indicated that it may modulate functions of various cancer cell types, and can even inhibit metastasis formation in experimental models. In melanoma, zinc was shown to affect melanin production and to induce apoptosis. Using human melanoma cell lines, we have tested the effects of ZnSO4 on cell proliferation, survival, migration as well as in vivo on experimental liver colony formation. We have found that ZnSO4 has antiproliferative and proapoptotic effects in vitro. In SCID mice intraperitoneal administration of ZnSO4 specifically inhibited liver colony formation without affecting primary tumor growth. To reveal the molecular mechanisms of action of zinc in human melanoma, we have tested mRNA expression of zinc finger transcription factors and found a strong inhibitory effect on HIF1α, as compared to WT1 whereas HIF2α and MTF1 expression was unaffected. Immunohistochemical detection of HIF1α protein in liver metastases confirmed its decreased nuclear expression after in vivo ZnSO4 treatment. These data indicate that in human melanoma zinc administration may have an antimetastatic effect due to a selective downregulation of HIF1α.
- Human melanoma
- Metastasis inhibition
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Cancer Research