Special Issue "Melatonin and Its Analogues: Experimental and Clinical Aspects"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2017)
Melatonin, an ancient molecule that is present throughout the plant and animal kingdoms, has an uncommonly wide variety of receptor-mediated and receptor-independent functions. Discovered in, and initially thought to be only produced by, the pineal gland, melatonin synthesis was found to be produced in a host of vertebrate organs, in invertebrates, in unicells and in plants, none of which has a pineal gland. In vertebrates, melatonin is synthesized in a large number of organs, including but not limited to, the retinas, gastrointestinal tract, ovary including the oocyte, etc. It has been speculated that every cell, plant and animal, may produce melatonin in their mitochondria and, in green plants, in chloroplasts. Melatonin membrane receptors, designated MT1 and MT2, are widely distributed in eukaryotic cells. Additionally, melatonin-binding sites (ROR and RZR orphan nuclear receptors) also exist in the nucleus and in the cytosol, for example quinone reductase and calmodulin. Via its receptors and as a consequence of its receptor-independent actions as a free-radical scavenger, melatonin has an uncommonly large array of functions. While perhaps best known for its effects in circadian rhythms, which includes sleep, melatonin has other actions including cancer inhibition, immune stimulation, oocyte maturation, regulation of seasonal reproduction in photosensitive mammals, limiting neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer, Parkinson, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, etc.), reducing the toxicity of prescription drugs and drugs of abuse, and protecting against heavy metal toxicity and environmental pollutants. In both plants and animals melatonin is a powerful radical scavenger and, in plants, melatonin also modulates seed germination and growth. Melatonin analogues have been developed and are advanced especially for use to overcome sleep disorders and depression. Clinically, melatonin is being tested as a treatment for osteoporosis, poor oocyte quality, pre-eclampsia, heart damage due to ischemia, etc. Papers related to any aspect of melatonin physiology, biochemistry and molecular biology, as well as clinical reports, will be considered for this Special Issue.
Manuscript Submission Information
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- stem cells
- chloroplasts; proteomics
- enzyme regulation
- oxidative stress
- free radicals