Mechanosensitive changes in the expression of genes in colorectal cancer-associated fibroblasts

Bashar Emon, You Jin Song, M. Saddam H. Joy, Mounisha V. Kovour, Kannanganattu V. Prasanth, M. Taher A. Saif

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Most solid tumors become stiff with progression of cancer. Cancer Associated Fibroblasts (CAFs), most abundant stromal cells in the tumor microenvironment (TME), are known to mediate such stiffening. While the biochemical crosstalk between CAFs and cancer cells have been widely investigated, it is not clear if and how CAFs in stiffer TME promote metastatic progression. To gather insights into the process, we controlled the mechanical stiffness of the substrates and collected gene expression data with human colorectal CAFs. We cultured human primary CAFs on 2D polyacrylamide hydrogels with increasing elastic modulus (E) of 1, 10 and 40 kPa, and performed genome-wide transcriptome analyses in these cells to identify expression levels of ~16000 genes. The high-quality RNAseq results can be an excellent data-source for bioinformatic analysis for identifying novel pathways and biomarkers in cancer development and metastatic progression. With thorough analysis and accurate interpretation, this data may help researchers understand the role of mechanical stiffness of the TME in CAF-cancer cell crosstalk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number350
JournalScientific Data
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Education
  • Library and Information Sciences
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty


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