SPOTLIGHT: Cell Biology and Developmental genetics - UBIAD1 and CoQ10 protect melanoma cells from lipid peroxidation-mediated cell death
Pubblicato il: 19.04.2022 18:35
Skin melanoma is one of the skin cancers with the highest mortality rate. As with other types of cancer, oxidative stress and reactive oxygen species (ROS) play a key role in all stages of formation and progression of this tumor. Melanoma cells exploit specific antioxidant mechanisms to limit the excessive rise in oxidative stress levels and ensure their survival. With this study, we learned that the UBIAD1 enzyme, a prenyltransferase responsible for CoQ10 biosynthesis, plays an important role in the progression of melanoma. The study "UBIAD1 and CoQ10 protect melanoma cells from lipid peroxidation-mediated cell death" published by the group of Prof. Santoro in the scientific journal Redox Biology (doi: 10.1016 / j.redox.2022.102272) 'reverses' the role of Coenzyme Q10, an antioxidant until now mainly considered for its positive effects against cellular aging. We show that there is an increase in UBIAD1 and CoQ10 levels in melanoma cells compared to normal cells, the melanocytes. Furthermore, the increased expression of UBIAD1 is associated with poor overall survival in patients with melanoma. We found that UBIAD1 and the CoQ10 contained in the plasma membrane support the survival and proliferation of melanoma cells, preventing excessive lipid peroxidation and consequent cell death. Thanks to the discovery of this new pro-tumor function of the UBIAD1 enzyme and its CoQ10 product, this work may initiate new investigations for the identification of innovative therapeutic approaches based on the inhibition of the UBIAD1 enzyme for the treatment of patients with melanoma.