Simulated Microgravity Influences Immunity-Related Biomarkers in Lung Cancer
Hachim, Mahmood Yaseen
Al Heialy, Saba
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Abstract: Microgravity is a novel strategy that may serve as a complementary tool to develop future cancer therapies. In lung cancer, the influence of microgravity on cellular processes and the migratory capacity of cells is well addressed. However, its effect on the mechanisms that drive lung cancer progression remains in their infancy. In this study, 13 differentially expressed genes were shown to be associated with the prognosis of lung cancer under simulated microgravity (SMG). Using gene set enrichment analysis, these genes are enriched in humoral immunity pathways. In lieu, alveolar basal-epithelial (A549) cells were exposed to SMG via a 2D clinostat system in vitro. In addition to morphology change and decrease in proliferation rate, SMG reverted the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) phenotype of A549, a key mechanism in cancer progression. This was evidenced by increased epithelial E-cadherin expression and decreased mesenchymal N-cadherin expression, hence exhibiting a less metastatic state. Interestingly, we observed increased expression of FCGBP, BPIFB, F5, CST1, and CFB and their correlation to EMT under SMG, rendering them potential tumor suppressor biomarkers. Together, these findings reveal new opportunities to establish novel therapeutic strategies for lung cancer treatment.