Cell-free DNA (cfDNA) and Exosome Profiling from a Year-Long Human Spaceflight Reveals Circulating Biomarkers.

TitleCell-free DNA (cfDNA) and Exosome Profiling from a Year-Long Human Spaceflight Reveals Circulating Biomarkers.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsBezdan D, Grigorev K, Meydan C, Vatter FAPelissie, Cioffi M, Rao V, MacKay M, Nakahira K, Burnham P, Afshinnekoo E, Westover C, Butler D, Mozsary C, Donahoe T, Foox J, Mishra T, Lucotti S, Rana BK, Melnick AM, Zhang H, Matei I, Kelsen D, Yu K, Lyden DC, Taylor L, Bailey SM, Snyder MP, Garrett-Bakelman FE, Ossowski S, De Vlaminck I, Mason CE
Date Published2020 Dec 18

Liquid biopsies based on cell-free DNA (cfDNA) or exosomes provide a noninvasive approach to monitor human health and disease but have not been utilized for astronauts. Here, we profile cfDNA characteristics, including fragment size, cellular deconvolution, and nucleosome positioning, in an astronaut during a year-long mission on the International Space Station, compared to his identical twin on Earth and healthy donors. We observed a significant increase in the proportion of cell-free mitochondrial DNA (cf-mtDNA) inflight, and analysis of post-flight exosomes in plasma revealed a 30-fold increase in circulating exosomes and patient-specific protein cargo (including brain-derived peptides) after the year-long mission. This longitudinal analysis of astronaut cfDNA during spaceflight and the exosome profiles highlights their utility for astronaut health monitoring, as well as cf-mtDNA levels as a potential biomarker for physiological stress or immune system responses related to microgravity, radiation exposure, and the other unique environmental conditions of spaceflight.

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Alternate JournaliScience
PubMed ID33376973
PubMed Central IDPMC7756145
Grant ListR01 MH117406 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
R01 AI125416 / AI / NIAID NIH HHS / United States
R01 ES021006 / ES / NIEHS NIH HHS / United States
P30 CA008748 / CA / NCI NIH HHS / United States
R21 AI129851 / AI / NIAID NIH HHS / United States
KL2 TR002385 / TR / NCATS NIH HHS / United States
R01 NS076465 / NS / NINDS NIH HHS / United States
R25 EB020393 / EB / NIBIB NIH HHS / United States
R01 AI151059 / AI / NIAID NIH HHS / United States

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