Melanoma accounts for only 4% of all skin cancers but is among the most lethal cutaneous neoplasms. Dacarbazine is the drug of choice for the treatment of melanoma in Brazil through the public health system mainly because of its low cost. However, it is an alkylating agent of low specificity and elicits a therapeutic response in only 20% of cases. Other drugs available for the treatment of melanoma are expensive, and tumor cells commonly develop resistance to these drugs. The fight against melanoma demands novel, more specific drugs that are effective in killing drug-resistant tumor cells. Dibenzoylmethane (1,3-diphenylpropane-1,3-dione) derivatives are promising antitumor agents. In this study, we investigated the cytotoxic effect of 1,3-diphenyl-2-benzyl-1,3-propanedione (DPBP) on B16F10 melanoma cells as well as its direct interaction with the DNA molecule using optical tweezers. DPBP showed promising results against tumor cells and had a selectivity index of 41.94. Also, we demonstrated the ability of DPBP to interact directly with the DNA molecule. The fact that DPBP can interact with DNA in vitro allows us to hypothesize that such an interaction may also occur in vivo and, therefore, that DPBP may be an alternative to treat patients with drug-resistant melanomas. These findings can guide the development of new and more effective drugs.

Graphical abstract


Plot of the percentage of cell death obtained for DPBP compound against melan-A and B16F10 lineages in different concentrations. The selectivity indices (SI = IC50 melan-A/IC50 B16F10) was 41.94.                    

Published by Elsevier B.V.


Dibenzoylmethane (DBM) is a minor constituent of licorice and a β-diketone analogue of curcumin. Feeding 1% DBM in the diet to Sencar mice during both the initiation and the post-initiation periods strongly inhibited 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA)-induced mammary tumor multiplicity and mammary tumor incidence by 97%. In further in vivo studies to elucidate the possible mechanisms of the inhibitory action of DBM, feeding the 1% DBM in the AIN-76A diet to immature Sencar mice for 4–5 weeks decreased the uterine wet weight by 43%, inhibited the proliferation rate of mammary gland epithelial cells by 53%, uterine epithelium by 23%, and uterine stroma by 77%, when mice were killed during the first estrus phase of estrous cycle. In addition, feeding 1% DBM in the diet to Sencar mice at 2 weeks before, during and 1 week after DMBA treatment (intubation of 1 mg DMBA per mouse once a week for 5 weeks) inhibited formation of total DMBA–DNA adducts in mammary glands by 72% using a post-32P-labeling assay. Thus, feeding 1% DBM diet to Sencar mice inhibited formation of DMBA–DNA adducts in mammary glands and lowered the proliferation rate of the mammary gland in vivo. These results may explain the strong inhibitory actions of dietary DBM on mammary carcinogenesis in mice.

Post time: Aug-12-2020