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J Pineal Res. 2019 May 15:e12587. doi: 10.1111/jpi.12587. [Epub ahead of print]

Histone deacetylase 9 downregulation decreases tumor growth and promotes apoptosis in non-small cell lung cancer after melatonin treatment.

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Department of Thoracic Surgery, Tangdu Hospital, The Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, China.
State Key Laboratory of Cardiovascular Disease, Fuwai Hospital, National Center for Cardiovascular Diseases, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China.
Department of Oncology, the Second Affiliated Hospital of Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, China.
Department of Aerospace Medicine, The Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, China.
Department of Ophthalmology, Tangdu Hospital, The Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, China.


Histone deacetylase 9 functions as an oncogene in a variety of cancers, but its role on non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has not been reported. Melatonin was proven to possess anticancer actions, whereas its effect on NSCLC and underlying mechanisms remains poorly understood. In this study, 337 patients with complete clinicopathologic characteristics who underwent NSCLC surgery were recruited for the study. We found that NSCLC patients with high HDAC9 expression were correlated with worse overall survival and poor prognosis. HDAC9 knockdown significantly reduced NSCLC cell growth and induced apoptosis both in vivo and in vitro. Melatonin application also markedly inhibited cell proliferation, metastasis, and invasion and promoted apoptosis in NSCLC cells. Moreover, RNA-seq, real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction, and western blot analyses showed that melatonin treatment decreased the HDAC9 level in NSCLC cells. A mechanistic study revealed that HDAC9 knockdown further enhanced the anticancer activities of melatonin treatment, whereas HDAC9 overexpression partially reversed the melatonin's anticancer effects. Additionally, the in vivo study found melatonin exerted anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects on xenograft tumors which were also strengthened by HDAC9 knockdown. These results indicated that HDAC9 downregulation mediated the anti-NSCLC actions of melatonin, and targeting HDAC9 may be the novel therapeutic strategy for NSCLC.


HDAC9; NSCLC; apoptosis; melatonin; prognosis; proliferation


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