Differences and similarities in biophysical and biological characteristics between U87 MG glioblastoma and astrocyte cells

ÖZDİL BAY B., Calik-Kocaturk D., ALTUNAYAR ÜNSALAN Ç., Açıkgöz E., Oltulu F., Gorgulu V., ...More

Histochemistry and Cell Biology, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00418-023-02234-0
  • Journal Name: Histochemistry and Cell Biology
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts Core, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Keywords: AFM, Astrocytes, GBM, SEM/EDS, XPS
  • Van Yüzüncü Yıl University Affiliated: Yes


Current cancer studies focus on molecular-targeting diagnostics and interactions with surroundings; however, there are still gaps in characterization based on topological differences and elemental composition. Glioblastoma (GBM cells; GBMCs) is an astrocytic aggressive brain tumor. At the molecular level, GBMCs and astrocytes may differ, and cell elemental/topological analysis is critical for identifying potential new cancer targets. Here, we used U87 MG cells for GBMCS. U87 MG cell lines, which are frequently used in glioblastoma research, are an important tool for studying the various features and underlying mechanisms of this aggressive brain tumor. For the first time, atomic force microscopy (AFM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) accompanied by energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) are used to report the topology and chemistry of cancer (U87 MG) and healthy (SVG p12) cells. In addition, F-actin staining and cytoskeleton-based gene expression analyses were performed. The degree of gene expression for genes related to the cytoskeleton was similar; however, the intensity of F-actin, anisotropy values, and invasion-related genes were different. Morphologically, GBMCs were longer and narrower while astrocytes were shorter and more disseminated based on AFM. Furthermore, the roughness values of these cells differed slightly between the two call types. In contrast to the rougher astrocyte surfaces in the lamellipodial area, SEM–EDS analysis showed that elongated GBMCs displayed filopodial protrusions. Our investigation provides considerable further insight into rapid cancer cell characterization in terms of a combinatorial spectroscopic and microscopic approach.