Jorge Casado 1 , Almudena Iñigo-Chaves 2 , Sergio M. Jiménez-Ruiz 1 , Sandra Ríos-Arrabal 1 , 3 , Ángel Carazo-Gallego 1 , Cristina González-Puga 4 , María Isabel Núñez 1 , 3 , Ángeles Ruíz-Extremera 1 , 5 , 6 , Javier Salmerón 1 , 2 , 5 , Josefa León 1 , 2 , 5 , *
11 June 2017
The characterization of colon cancer stem cells (CSCs) may help to develop novel diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. p53 loss increases the pool of CSCs in colorectal cancer (CRC). Recent reports suggest that the oncostatic effects of melatonin could be related to its ability to kill CSCs. Although there are no data linking the loss of p53 function and melatonin synthesis or signaling in cancer, melatonin does activate the p53 tumor-suppressor pathway in this disease. In this work, we analyze whether the expression of melatonin synthesis and signaling genes are related to the expression of CSC markers and the implication of p53 status in samples from patients with CRC. Arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AA-NAT), MT1, and MT2 expression decreased in tumor samples versus normal mucosa samples in mutated p53 (mtp53) tumors versus those with wild-type p53 (wtp53). Further, AA-NAT and MT2 expression were lower in advanced stages of the disease in wtp53 tumors. On the contrary, CD44 and CD66c expression was higher in tumor versus normal mucosa in wtp53 tumors. Additionally, CD44 expression was higher in advanced stages of the disease regardless of the p53 status. Patients with CD44 highCD66c high and wtp53 tumors in advanced stages showed low expression of AA-NAT and MT2 in wtp53 tumors. These results could indicate a possible interaction of these pathways in CRC.