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Expert Rev Proteomics. 2014 Aug;11(4):465-76. doi: 10.1586/14789450.2014.926221. Epub 2014 Jun 24.

The impact of microgravity-based proteomics research.

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Institute of Biomedicine, Pharmacology, Aarhus University, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark.


Proteomics is performed in microgravity research in order to determine protein alterations occurring qualitatively and quantitatively, when single cells or whole organisms are exposed to real or simulated microgravity. To this purpose, antibody-dependent (Western blotting, flow cytometry, Luminex(®) technology) and antibody-independent (mass spectrometry, gene array) techniques are applied. The anticipated findings will help to understand microgravity-specific behavior, which has been observed in bacteria, as well as in plant, animal and human cells. To date, the analyses revealed that cell cultures are more sensitive to microgravity than cells embedded in organisms and that proteins changing under microgravity are highly interactive. Furthermore, one has to distinguish between primary gravity-induced and subsequent interaction-dependent changes of proteins, as well as between direct microgravity-related effects and indirect stress responses. Progress in this field will impact on tissue engineering and medicine and will uncover possibilities of counteracting alterations of protein expression at lowered gravity.


3D cell growth; bed rest; clinostat; random positioning machine; spaceflight; tail suspension

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