Copper ionophores induce autophagy in melanoma cells.
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Dao, Long, 1988-
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Malignant melanoma is a particularly aggressive form of skin cancer, for which the only current treatment option is excision. As melanoma is an inherently antiapoptotic model of cancer, other avenues of cell death were pursued, namely autophagy, a mechanism in which a cell devours itself in times of stress. In this study, two copper ionophores, disulfiram and thiomaltol, were investigated against melanoma. By using immunocytochemistry, Western Blotting and supravital staining, it was confirmed that both ionophores induce autophagy, and furthermore, drive the process to completion. In addition, when tested for viability with the autophagy inhibitor hydroxychloroquine, both ionophores showed evidence of synergism. To further study the migration of copper, STEM-EDX was used on thiomaltol treated melanoma cells.