Melatonin is an indolic hormone that regulates a plethora of functions ranging from the regulation of circadian rhythms and antioxidant properties to the induction and maintenance of tumor suppressor pathways. It binds to specific receptors as well as to some cytosolic proteins, leading to several cellular signaling cascades. Recently, the involvement of melatonin in cancer insurgence and progression has clearly been demonstrated. In this review, we will first describe the structure and functions of melatonin and its receptors, and then discuss both molecular and epidemiological evidence on melatonin anticancer effects. Finally, we will shed light on potential cross-talk between melatonin signaling and the Hippo signaling pathway, along with the possible implications for cancer therapy.
Keywords: GPCR signaling; Hippo pathway; cancer; melatonin; melatonin receptors.