Institute of Crystallography - CNR

Long-term osteogenic differentiation of human bone marrow stromal cells in simulated microgravity: novel proteins sighted

Microgravity-induced bone loss is a major concern for space travelers. Ground-based microgravity simulators are crucial
to study the effect of microgravity exposure on biological systems and to address the limitations posed by restricted access
to real space. In this work, for the first time, we adopt a multidisciplinary approach to characterize the morphological,
biochemical, and molecular changes underlying the response of human bone marrow stromal cells to long-term simulated
microgravity exposure during osteogenic differentiation. Our results show that osteogenic differentiation is reduced while
energy metabolism is promoted. We found novel proteins were dysregulated under simulated microgravity, including CSC1-
like protein, involved in the mechanotransduction of pressure signals, and PTPN11, SLC44A1 and MME which are involved
in osteoblast differentiation pathways and which may become the focus of future translational projects. The investigation
of cell proteome highlighted how simulated microgravity affects a relatively low number of proteins compared to time and/
or osteogenic factors and has allowed us to reconstruct a hypothetical pipeline for cell response to simulated microgravity.
Further investigation focused on the application of nanomaterials may help to increase understanding of how to treat or
minimize the effects of microgravity.

Cellular and molecular life sciences (Electron. ed.)
Impact factor
Giulia Montagna1 · Giuseppe Pani2 · Dani Flinkman3,4 · Francesco Cristofaro1 · Barbara Pascucci5 · Luca Massimino6 · Luigi Antonio Lamparelli6 · Lorenzo Fassina7 · Peter James3,4 · Eleanor Coffey3 · Giuseppina Rea5 · Livia Visai1,8 · Angela Maria Rizzo2