Radiation-induced endothelial inflammation is transferred via the secretome to recipient cells in a STAT-mediated process

Jos Philipp, Omid Azimzadeh, Vikram Subramanian, Juliane Merl-Pham, Donna Lowe, Daniela Hladik, Nadine Erbeldinger, Svetlana Ktitareva, Claudia Fournier, Michael J. Atkinson, Ken Raj, Soile Tapio*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Radiation is the most common treatment of cancer. Minimizing the normal tissue injury, especially the damage to vascular endothelium, remains a challenge. This study aimed to analyze direct and indirect radiation effects on the endothelium by investigating mechanisms of signal transfer from irradiated to nonirradiated endothelial cells by means of secreted proteins. Human coronary artery endothelial cells (HCECest2) undergo radiation-induced senescence in vitro 14 days after exposure to 10 Gy X-rays. Proteomics analysis was performed on HCECest2 14 days after irradiation with X-ray doses of 0 Gy (control) or 10 Gy using label-free technology. Additionally, the proteomes of control and radiation-induced secretomes, and those of nonirradiated HCECest2 exposed for 24 h to secreted proteins of either condition were measured. Key changes identified by proteomics and bioinformatics were validated by immunoblotting, ELISA, bead-based multiplex assays, and targeted transcriptomics. The irradiated cells, their secretome, and the nonirradiated recipient cells showed similar inflammatory response, characterized by induction of interferon type I-related proteins and activation of the STAT3 pathway. These data indicate that irradiated endothelial cells may adversely affect nonirradiated surrounding cells via senescence-associated secretory phenotype. This study adds to our knowledge of the pathological background of radiation-induced cardiovascular disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3903-3916
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Proteome Research
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 6 Oct 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We acknowledge the Core Facility Immunoanalytics of Helmholtz Zentrum München for assistance in acquiring the data with the Luminex platform. This research was supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research of Germany (Funding numbers: 02NUK038B, 02NUK045C) and the European Community’s Seventh Framework Program (EURA-TOM) (# 295823 PROCARDIO). V.S. is recipient of a scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 American Chemical Society.


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • MHC-I class
  • Proteomics
  • STAT
  • Senescence-associated secretory phenotype
  • X-ray irradiation


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