Oxidative stress in melanocyte senescence and melanoma transformation

Eur J Cell Biol. Jan-Feb 2014;93(1-2):36-41. doi: 10.1016/j.ejcb.2013.11.005. Epub 2013 Nov 23.


Melanoma is a severe type of skin cancer with a high metastasis potential and poor survival rates once metastasized. The causes of melanoma formation are multifactorial and not fully understood. Several signaling cascades such as the RAS/RAF/ERK1/2 pathway, the PI3K/AKT pathway, RAC1 and NF-κB are involved in melanoma initiation and progression. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are induced by these signal transduction cascades, and they play a fundamental role in melanomagenic processes. Cells derived from the melanocytic lineage are particularly sensitive to an increase in ROS, and thus, melanoma cells rely on efficient antioxidant measures. This review summarizes the causes and consequences of ROS generation in melanocytes and melanoma and discusses the potential of pro-oxidant therapy in melanoma treatment.

Keywords: Carcinogenesis; Melanocytes; Melanoma; Reactive oxygen species; Senescence; Transsulfuration pathway.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / metabolism*
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / pathology
  • Cellular Senescence*
  • Humans
  • Melanocytes / metabolism*
  • Melanocytes / pathology
  • Melanoma / metabolism*
  • Melanoma / pathology
  • Melanoma / therapy
  • Oxidative Stress*
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Skin Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology
  • Skin Neoplasms / therapy


  • Reactive Oxygen Species