The role of NFκB in spheroid formation of human breast cancer cells cultured on the Random Positioning Machine


  • S. Kopp
  • J. Sahana
  • T. Islam
  • A.G. Petersen
  • J. Bauer
  • T.J. Corydon
  • H. Schulz
  • K. Saar
  • N. Huebner
  • L. Slumstrup
  • S. Riwaldt
  • M. Wehland
  • M. Infanger
  • R. Luetzenberg
  • D. Grimm


  • Scientific Reports


  • Sci Rep 8 (1): 921


  • Human MCF-7 breast cancer cells were exposed to a Random Positioning Machine (RPM). After 24 hours (h) the cells grew either adherently within a monolayer (AD) or within multicellular spheroids (MCS). AD and MCS populations were separately harvested, their cellular differences were determined performing qPCR on genes, which were differently expressed in AD and MCS cells. Gene array technology was applied to detect RPM-sensitive genes in MCF-7 cells after 24 h. Furthermore, the capability to form multicellular spheroids in vitro was compared with the intracellular distribution of NF-kappaB (NFκB) p65. NFκB was equally distributed in static control cells, but predominantly localized in the cytoplasm in AD cells and nucleus in MCS cells exposed to the RPM. Gene array analyses revealed a more than 2-fold change of only 23 genes including some whose products are affected by oxygen levels or regulate glycolysis. Significant upregulations of the mRNAs of enzymes degrading heme, of ANXA1, ANXA2, CTGF, CAV2 and ICAM1, as well as of FAS, Casp8, BAX, p53, CYC1 and PARP1 were observed in MCS cells as compared with 1g-control and AD cells. An interaction analysis of 47 investigated genes suggested that HMOX-1 and NFκB variants are activated, when multicellular spheroids are formed.