Melatonin regulation of antioxidant enzyme gene expression
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Antioxidant enzymes (AOEs) are part of the primary cellular defense against free radicals induced by toxins and/or spontaneously formed in cells. Melatonin (MLT) has received much attention in recent years due to its direct free radical scavenging and antioxidant properties. In the present work we report that MLT, at physiological serum concentrations (≈ 1 nM), increases the mRNA of both superoxide dismutases (SODs) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) in two neuronal cell lines. The MLT effect on both SODs and GPx mRNA was mediated by a de novo synthesized protein. MLT alters mRNA stability for Cu-Zn SOD and GPx. Experiments with a short time treatment (pulse action) of MLT suggest that the regulation of AOE gene expression is likely to be receptor mediated, because 1-h treatment with MLT results in the same response as a 24-h treatment.
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