Antitumor effects of vitamin D analogs on hamster and mouse melanoma cell lines in relation to melanin pigmentation

T. Wasiewicz, P. Szyszka, M. Cichorek, Z. Janjetovic, Robert Tuckey, A.T. Słomiński, M.A. Zmijewski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


© 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Deregulated melanogenesis is involved in melanomagenesis and melanoma progression and resistance to therapy. Vitamin D analogs have anti-melanoma activity. While the hypercalcaemic effect of the active form of Vitamin D (1,25(OH)2D3) limits its therapeutic use, novel Vitamin D analogs with a modified side chain demonstrate low calcaemic activity. We therefore examined the effect of secosteroidal analogs, both classic (1,25(OH)2D3 and 25(OH)D3), and novel relatively non-calcemic ones (20(OH)D3, calcipotriol, 21(OH)pD, pD and 20(OH)pL), on proliferation, colony formation in monolayer and soft-agar, and mRNA and protein expression by melanoma cells. Murine B16-F10 and hamster Bomirski Ab cell lines were shown to be effective models to study how melanogenesis affects anti-melanoma treatment. Novel Vitamin D analogs with a short side-chain and lumisterol-like 20(OH)pL efficiently inhibited rodent melanoma growth. Moderate pigmentation sensitized rodent melanoma cells towards Vitamin D analogs, and altered expression of key genes involved in Vitamin D signaling, which was opposite to the effect on heavily pigmented cells. Interestingly, melanogenesis inhibited ligand-induced Vitamin D receptor translocation and ligand-induced expression of VDR and CYP24A1 genes. These findings indicate that melanogenesis can affect the anti-melanoma activity of Vitamin D analogs in a complex manner.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6645-6667
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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