Lung Cancer Stem Cell Lose Their Stemness Default State after Exposure to Microgravity

Maria Elena Pisanu, Alessia Noto, Claudia De Vitis, Maria Grazia Masiello, Pierpaolo Coluccia, Sara Proietti, Maria Rosaria Giovagnoli, Alberto Ricci, Enrico Giarnieri, Alessandra Cucina, Gennaro Ciliberto, Mariano Bizzarri, Rita Mancini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Microgravity influences cell differentiation by modifying the morphogenetic field in which stem cells are embedded. Preliminary data showed indeed that stem cells are committed to selective differentiation when exposed to real or simulated microgravity. Our study provides evidence that a similar event occurs when cancer stem cells (CSCs) are cultured in microgravity. In the same time, a significant increase in apoptosis was recorded: those data point out that microgravity rescues CSCs from their relative quiescent state, inducing CSCs to lose their stemness features, as documented by the decrease in ALDH and the downregulation of both Nanog and Oct-4 genes. Those traits were stably acquired and preserved by CSCs when cells were placed again on a 1 g field. Studies conducted in microgravity on CSCs may improve our understanding of the fundamental role exerted by biophysical forces in cancer cell growth and function.

Original languageEnglish
Article number470253
JournalBioMed Research International
Publication statusPublished - 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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