Cytotoxic and proapoptotic effect of doxycycline – An in vitro study on the human skin melanoma cells.

Publication date: Feb 07, 2020

Doxycycline is a semisynthetic, second generation tetracycline. Currently, it is used, among others, in the treatment of acne and skin infections. Moreover, doxycycline has many valuable nonantibiotic properties, including anti-inflammatory, immunosuppressive and anticancer effects. Recent studies showed that the drug had the ability to inhibit the adhesion and migration of cancer cells, as well as affected their growth and proliferation and induced apoptosis. The purpose of this study was to examine the antimelanoma effect of doxycycline. The obtained results demonstrated that doxycycline decreased the viability and inhibited the proliferation of human melanoma cells, proportionally to the drug concentration and the treatment time. It was stated that doxycycline disturbed the homeostasis of the cells by lowering intracellular level of reduced thiols. In addition, the treatment changed the cell cycle profile and triggered the DNA fragmentation. Mitochondria of melanoma cells exposed to the drug had lowered membrane potential, which indicated cells apoptosis. Finally, doxycycline induced the externalization phosphatidylserine – a well-known hallmark of apoptosis, confirmed by results of annexin V test. The presented study contributes to the increase of knowledge about nonantibacterial action of doxycycline, including the influence on human cancer cells and indicates new potential possibility of effective treatment of malignant melanoma.

Rok, J., Karkoszka, M., Rzepka, Z., Respondek, M., Banach, K., Beberok, A., and Wrze’sniok, D. Cytotoxic and proapoptotic effect of doxycycline – An in vitro study on the human skin melanoma cells. 25761. 2020 Toxicol In Vitro.

Concepts Keywords
Acne Proliferation melanoma
Adhesion Fragmentation Mitochondria melanoma
Annexin Skin melanoma
Apoptosis Branches of biology
Doxycycline Medicine
Fragmentation RTT
Homeostasis Anti-acne preparations
Immunosuppressive Tetracycline antibiotics
Intracellular Hepatotoxins
Malignant Melanoma Doxycycline
Melanoma Programmed cell death
Membrane Potential Apoptosis
Mitochondria Melanoma
Phosphatidylserine Phosphatidylserine
Proapoptotic Apoptosis


Type Source Name
drug DRUGBANK Doxycycline
disease MESH melanoma
pathway KEGG Melanoma
drug DRUGBANK Tetracycline
disease MESH acne
disease MESH infections
disease MESH cancer
disease MESH growth
pathway KEGG Apoptosis
pathway KEGG Cell cycle
disease MESH DNA fragmentation
drug DRUGBANK Phosphatidyl serine


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