The essential trace element selenium (Se) might play a role in cancer prevention as well as for cancer therapy. Its metabolite methylselenol is able to kill cells through distinct mechanisms including induction of reactive oxygen species, DNA damage and apoptosis. Since methylselenol affects innate immune responses by modulating the expression of NKG2D ligands, the aim of this study was to determine whether the methylselenol generating compound methylseleninic acid (MSA) influences the expression of the MHC class I surface antigens and growth properties thereby reverting immune escape. Treatment of B16F10 melanoma cells expressing low basal MHC class I surface antigens with dimethyldiselenide (DMDSe) and MSA, but not with selenomethionine and selenite resulted in a dose-dependent upregulation of MHC class I cell surface antigens. This was due to a transcriptional upregulation of some major components of the antigen processing machinery (APM) and the interferon (IFN) signaling pathway and accompanied by a reduced migration of B16F10 melanoma cells in the presence of MSA. Comparative "ome"-based profilings of untreated and MSA-treated melanoma cells linked the anti-oxidative response system with MHC class I antigen processing. Since MSA treatment enhanced MHC class I surface expression also on different human tumors cell lines, MSA might affect the malignant phenotype of various tumor cells by restoring MHC class I APM component expression due to an altered redox status and by partially mimicking IFN-gamma signaling thereby providing a novel mechanism for the chemotherapeutic potential of methylselenol generating Se compounds.
Keywords: 2D-DIGE; APM components; MHC class I; anti-tumoral immune response; methylseleninic acid; selenium.