Cell sex determines anoikis resistance in vascular smooth muscle cells

Elisabetta Straface, Rosa Vona, Lucrezia Gambardella, Barbara Ascione, Maria Marino, Paola Bulzomi, Silvia Canu, Rita Coinu, Giuseppe Rosano, Walter Malorni, Flavia Franconi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sexual dimorphism, detectable in vascular smooth muscle cells freshly isolated from aorta of male and female rats, is associated with a different susceptibility to radiation-induced apoptosis. In this work we investigated the mechanism underlying this difference and discovered that, in comparison with cells from male rats, cells from female rats show adhesion-associated resistance to apoptosis, the so called anoikis resistance. This is apparently due to a more adhering phenotype, characterized by a well organized actin microfilament cytoskeleton and to an increased phosphorylated focal adhesion kinase, and, more importantly, to a higher propensity to undergo survival by autophagy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3448-3454
Number of pages7
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - Nov 3 2009


  • Anoikis
  • Apoptosis
  • Autophagy
  • Cell adhesion
  • Gender
  • Reactive oxygen species
  • Senescence
  • Vascular smooth muscle cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Cell Biology
  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Structural Biology


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