Multiplexed profiling of secreted proteins for the detection of potential space biomarkers

Birger Dieriks, Winnok H. De Vos, Marjan Moreels, Myriam Ghardi, Raoul C. Hennekam, Jos L. V. Broers, Sarah Baatout, Patrick Van Oostveldt*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Web of Science)


Space travel exposes astronauts to a plethora of potentially detrimental conditions, such as cosmic radiation and microgravity. As both factors are hard to simulate on Earth, present knowledge remains limited. However, this knowledge is of vital importance, making space flight experiments a necessity for determining the biological effects and the underlying biochemical processes, especially when keeping future long-term interplanetary missions in mind. Instead of estimating the long-term effects, which usually implicate severe endpoints (e.g., cancer) and which are often difficult to attribute, research has shifted to finding representative biomarkers for rapid and sensitive detection of individual radiosensitivity. In this context, an appealing set of candidate markers is the group of secreted proteins, as they exert an intercellular signaling function and are easy to assess. We screened a subset of secreted proteins in cells exposed to space travel by means of multiplex bead array analysis. To determine the cell-specific signatures of the secreted molecules, we compared the conditioned medium of normal fibroblast cells to fibroblasts isolated from a patient with Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria syndrome, which are known to have a perturbed nuclear architecture and DNA damage response. Out of the 88 molecules screened, 20 showed a significant level increase or decrease, with a differential response to space conditions between the two cell types. Among the molecules that were retained, which may prove to be valuable biomarkers, are apolipoprotein C-III, plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1, beta-2-microglobulin, ferritin, MMP-3, TIMP-1 and VEGF.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-23
JournalMolecular Medicine Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • cytokines
  • biomarker
  • space
  • radiation
  • microgravity

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