Melatonin-mediated downregulation of ZNF746 suppresses bladder tumorigenesis mainly through inhibiting the AKT-MMP-9 signaling pathway

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There still lacking effective treatment for bladder cancer. This study investigated whether melatonin (Mel) can suppress the growth and invasion of bladder cancer cells. Male C57B/L6 mice were categorized into control group (ie, subcutaneous injection of HT1197 bladder cancer cell line at the back] and treatment group [subcutaneous HT1197 cells + intraperitoneal Mel (100 mg/kg/d) from day 8 to day 21 after tumor cell injection]. In vitro Mel suppressed cell growth of four bladder cancer cell lines (ie, T24, RT4, HT1197, HT1376), cell migration in HT1197/HT1376, mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) in T24 and colony formation in RT4 cells as well as arrested the cell cycle at G0 phase and inhibited the mitotic phase of T24 cells (all P < 0.0001). Protein expression of ZNF746 in RT4/T24 cells and protein expression phosphorylated (p)-AKT/MMP-2/MMP-9 in HT1197/HT1376 cells were reduced following Mel treatment (all P < 0.001). Transfection of T24 cells with plasmid-based shRNA (ie, ZNF746-silencing) downregulated the protein expression of MMP-9, cell growth, and invasion and attachment to endothelial cells but upregulated the colony formation (all P < 0.001). Mel suppressed oxidative stress and MMP but upregulated mitochondria mass in ZNF746-silenced T24 cells, whereas these parameters exhibited a similar patter to Mel treatment in ZNF746-silenced T24 cells (all P < 0.0001). In vivo study demonstrated that Mel treatment significantly suppressed cellular expressions of MMP-9/MMP-2, protein expressions of ZNF746/p-AKT, and tumor size (all P < 0.001). Mel treatment suppressed the growth, migration, and invasion of bladder carcinoma cells through downregulating ZNF746-regulated MMP-9/MMP-2 signaling.

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