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Osteosarcoma (OS) is an aggressive bone cancer originating in the mesenchymal lineage. Prognosis for metastatic disease is poor, with a mortality rate of approximately 40%; OS is an aggressive disease for which new treatments are needed. All bone cells are sensitive to their mechanical/ physical surroundings and changes in these surroundings can affect their behavior. However, it is not well understood how OS cells specifically respond to fluid movement, or substrate stiffness—two stimuli of relevance in the tumor microenvironment. We used cells from spontaneous OS tumors in a mouse engineered to have a bone-specific knockout of pRb-1 and p53 in the osteoblast lineage. We silenced Sox2 (which regulates YAP) and tested the effect of fluid flow shear stress (FFSS) and substrate stiffness on YAP expression/activity—which was significantly reduced by loss of Sox2, but that effect was reversed by FFSS but not by substrate stiffness. Osteogenic gene expression was also reduced in the absence of Sox2 but again this was reversed by FFSS and remained largely unaffected by substrate stiffness. Thus we described the effect of two distinct stimuli on the mechanosensory and osteogenic profiles of OS cells. Taken together, these data suggest that modulation of fluid movement through, or stiffness levels within, OS tumors could represent a novel consideration in the development of new treatments to prevent their progression.


This work was originally published in Cancers, available at

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (



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