G2Cdb::Gene report

Gene id
Gene symbol
Homo sapiens
glial fibrillary acidic protein
G00000847 (Mus musculus)

Databases (8)

ENSG00000131095 (Ensembl human gene)
2670 (Entrez Gene)
248 (G2Cdb plasticity & disease)
GFAP (GeneCards)
137780 (OMIM)
Marker Symbol
HGNC:4235 (HGNC)
Protein Expression
39 (human protein atlas)
Protein Sequence
P14136 (UniProt)

Synonyms (1)

  • FLJ45472

Literature (116)

Pubmed - other

  • Redox proteomic analysis of carbonylated brain proteins in mild cognitive impairment and early Alzheimer's disease.

    Sultana R, Perluigi M, Newman SF, Pierce WM, Cini C, Coccia R and Butterfield DA

    Department of Chemistry, University of Kentucky , Lexington, KY, USA.

    Previous studies indicated increased levels of protein oxidation in brain from subjects with Alzheimer's disease (AD), raising the question of whether oxidative damage is a late effect of neurodegeneration or precedes and contributes to the pathogenesis of AD. Hence, in the present study we used a parallel proteomic approach to identify oxidatively modified proteins in inferior parietal lobule (IPL) from subjects with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and early stage-AD (EAD). By comparing to age-matched controls, we reasoned that such analysis could help in understanding potential mechanisms involved in upstream processes in AD pathogenesis. We have identified four proteins that showed elevated levels of protein carbonyls: carbonic anhydrase II (CA II), heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70), mitogen-activated protein kinase I (MAPKI), and syntaxin binding protein I (SBP1) in MCI IPL. In EAD IPL we identified three proteins: phosphoglycerate mutase 1 (PM1), glial fibrillary acidic protein, and fructose bisphospate aldolase C (FBA-C). Our results imply that some of the common targets of protein carbonylation correlated with AD neuropathology and suggest a possible involvement of protein modifications in the AD progression.

    Funded by: NIA NIH HHS: AG-05119, AG-10836

    Antioxidants & redox signaling 2010;12;3;327-36

  • Enhanced glial fibrillary acidic protein-delta expression in human astrocytic tumor.

    Choi KC, Kwak SE, Kim JE, Sheen SH and Kang TC

    Department of Pathology, College of Medicine, Hallym University, Chunchon 200-702, South Korea.

    Astrocytic tumor is one of the most common primary tumors of the adult brain. Although there are several biochemical markers for the categorization of astrocytic tumor, few markers are used for histopathological diagnosis. Therefore, we evaluated glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-delta, a product of alternative splicing variants of GFAP-alpha, as a diagnostic marker. GFAP-delta immunoreactive (GFAP-delta(+)) astrocyte was rarely detected in tissue samples from autopsy controls. In tissue samples from patients with low-grade astrocytic tumor (grades I and II), GFAP-delta(+) cells appeared stellate, polygonal or round shape. In tissue samples from patients with high-grade astrocytic tumor (grades III and IV), GFAP-delta(+) cells showed round or spindle shape. GFAP-delta immunoreactivities in grades III and IV astrocytic tumor cells were increased by 1.4- and 1.7-fold in comparison to grade I astrocytic tumor cells. GFAP-delta immunoreactivity was also observed in cell bodies along the margins of astrocytic tumor showing normal histological findings, even though astroglia had normal morphology (showing strong GFAP and glutamine synthase immunoreactivities and a stellate shape with well-developed processes). Furthermore, the malignancy of astrocytic tumor was directly correlated with the degree of GFAP-delta immunoreactivity. These findings suggest that GFAP-delta may be a useful diagnostic marker for the evaluation of functional cataplasia or proliferation of astrocytic tumor.

    Neuroscience letters 2009;463;3;182-7

  • Glial fibrillary acidic protein in tumor types with cartilaginous differentiation.

    Santos GC, Carvalho KC, Falzoni R, Simoes AC, Rocha RM, Lopes A, Vassallo J, Reis LF, Soares FA and da Cunha IW

    Department of Pathology, Hospital do Cancer de Barretos, Barretos, SP, Brazil.

    Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) is a member of the intermediary filament protein family. It is an important component of astrocytes and a known diagnostic marker of glial differentiation. GFAP is expressed in other neural tumors and pleomorphic adenoma and, less frequently, in cartilage tumors, chordomas, and soft tissue myoepitheliomas. The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of GFAP and its reliability in nonglial tumors as an immunohistochemical marker. We evaluated GFAP gene and protein expression using Q-PCR and immunohistochemistry, respectively, in 81 and 387 cases of soft tissue, bone tumors, and salivary pleomorphic adenomas. Immunohistochemistry staining for GFAP was observed in all osteosarcomas (8 cases), all pleomorphic adenomas (7 cases), in 5 of 6 soft tissue myoepitheliomas, and in 21 of 76 chondrosarcomas. By Q-PCR, GFAP was highly expressed in pleomorphic adenomas and, to a lesser extent, chondrosarcomas, soft tissue myoepitheliomas, and chondroblastic osteosarcomas. The results that we obtained by immunohistochemistry and Q-PCR were well correlated. GFAP is a potential marker for tumors with cartilaginous differentiation, supported by evidence that GFAP is expressed in certain cases of myoepithelial tumors by immunohistochemistry, including soft tissue myoepitheliomas, which are related to cartilaginous differentiation. These findings contribute significantly to the diagnosis of soft tissue myoepitheliomas with cartilaginous differentiation and chondroblastic osteosarcoma in mesenchymal tumors.

    Modern pathology : an official journal of the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology, Inc 2009;22;10;1321-7

  • Nuclear factor I regulates brain fatty acid-binding protein and glial fibrillary acidic protein gene expression in malignant glioma cell lines.

    Brun M, Coles JE, Monckton EA, Glubrecht DD, Bisgrove D and Godbout R

    Department of Oncology, Cross Cancer Institute, University of Alberta, Alberta, Canada.

    Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), an intermediate filament protein normally found in astrocytes, and the radial glial marker brain fatty acid-binding protein (B-FABP; also known as FABP7) are co-expressed in malignant glioma cell lines and tumors. Nuclear factor I (NFI) recognition sites have been identified in the B-FABP and GFAP promoters, and transcription of both genes is believed to be regulated by NFI. Here, we study the role of the different members of the NFI family in regulating endogenous and ectopic B-FABP and GFAP gene transcription in human malignant glioma cells. We show by gel shifts that all four members of the NFI family (NFIA, NFIB, NFIC, and NFIX) bind to B-FABP and GFAP NFI consensus sites. Over-expression of NFIs, in conjunction with mutation analysis of NFI consensus sites using a reporter gene assay, supports a role for all four NFIs in the regulation of the GFAP and B-FABP genes. Knock-down of single or combined NFIs reveals promoter-dependent and promoter-context-dependent interaction patterns and suggests cross talk between the different members of the NFI family. Our data indicate that the NFI family of transcription factors plays a key role in the regulation of both the B-FABP and GFAP genes in malignant glioma cells.

    Journal of molecular biology 2009;391;2;282-300

  • Expression patterns of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-delta in epilepsy-associated lesional pathologies.

    Martinian L, Boer K, Middeldorp J, Hol EM, Sisodiya SM, Squier W, Aronica E and Thom M

    Department of Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy, Institute of Neurology, University College, London, UK.

    Aims: Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-delta is a novel isoform that differs in its C-terminal sequence from other GFAP isoforms. Previous studies suggest restriction of expression to the subpial layer, subventricular zone and the subgranular zone astrocytes, with an absence in pathological conditions causing reactive gliosis. GFAP-delta is speculated to have roles in regulation of astrocyte size and motility and a subpopulation of GFAP-delta-positive glia may be multipotent stem cells. The aim of this study was to investigate its expression in common causes of lesion-related refractory epilepsy.

    Methods: Hippocampal sclerosis (HS), focal cortical dysplasia (FCD) type IIB, cortical tuberous sclerosis (TSC) lesions, gangliogliomas, grey matter heterotopias and hemimegalencephaly from a wide age range of patients using both surgical and post mortem tissue specimens were studied.

    Results: GFAP-delta expression was observed in CA4 and CA1 astrocytes in HS with less frequent labelling in the granule cell layer, even where granule cell dispersion was present. No significant labelling was noted in the subiculum in HS cases or in any subfields in non-HS epilepsy cases. Balloon cells in FCDIIB and hemimegalencephaly, giant cells in TSC and the astrocytic component of gangliogliomas showed immunoreactivity, colocalizing with conventional GFAP. No neuronal expression for GFAP-delta was seen in any of the pathologies. Quantitative analysis in 10 FCDIIB and five TSC cases revealed greater numbers of GFAP-delta-positive balloon cells than conventional GFAP. There was no GFAP-delta expression within nodular heterotopia.

    Conclusions: GFAP-delta expression patterns in HS overall appears to mirror regional reactive gliosis. It is a useful marker for the demonstration of balloon cells in FCD and TSC, which may be relevant to their abnormal size and localization. The lack of GFAP-delta within heterotopia supports their composition from cells destined for deeper cortical layers.

    Funded by: Medical Research Council: G0600934, G79059

    Neuropathology and applied neurobiology 2009;35;4;394-405

  • The process of inducing GFAP aggregates in astrocytoma-derived cells is different between R239C and R416W mutant GFAP. A time-lapse recording study.

    Yoshida T, Sasayama H and Nakagawa M

    Department of Neurology, Graduate School of Medical Science, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kawaramachi Hirokoji, Kajii-chou 465, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto 602-0841, Japan. toyoshid@koto.kpu-m.ac.jp

    Alexander disease (ALX) is a rare neurodegenerative disease caused by the gene mutations encoding glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). The formation of aggregates in the cytoplasm of astrocytes, which mainly consists of GFAP, is characteristic of ALX. To examine the dynamic process of aggregates between the different domains of GFAP, we performed time-lapse recording on two different mutant GFAP. R239C and R416W GFAP mutations located in the rod domain and tail domain, respectively, were transfected into astrocytoma-derived cells, and their real-time dynamics were observed using time-lapse recording. Our time-lapse recording study indicated that the process of inducing aggregates would be different between R239C and R416W. In GFP-R239C cells, 32.4% first appeared as aggregates, and clusters of aggregates in the cytoplasm tended to move inward and form amorphous aggregates. On the other hand, 82.0% of GFP-R416W cells first showed disrupted GFAP, with a bubble-like or ring-like structure; however, most cells maintained their structure and were capable of cell division. Our result indicates that the mechanism of GFAP aggregation depends on the domain in which the point mutation is located. A different approach to ALX therapy should be considered according to the domain of GFAP.

    Neuroscience letters 2009;458;1;11-4

  • Proteomic analysis of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex indicates the involvement of cytoskeleton, oligodendrocyte, energy metabolism and new potential markers in schizophrenia.

    Martins-de-Souza D, Gattaz WF, Schmitt A, Maccarrone G, Hunyadi-Gulyás E, Eberlin MN, Souza GH, Marangoni S, Novello JC, Turck CW and Dias-Neto E

    Laboratório de Neurociências, Instituto de Psiquiatria, Faculdade de Medicina da USP, Rua Dr. Ovídio Pires de Campos, SP, Brazil. martins@mpipsykl.mpg.de

    Schizophrenia is likely to be a consequence of serial alterations in a number of genes that, together with environmental factors, will lead to the establishment of the illness. The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (Brodmann's Area 46) is implicated in schizophrenia and executes high functions such as working memory, differentiation of conflicting thoughts, determination of right and wrong concepts, correct social behavior and personality expression. We performed a comparative proteome analysis using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis of pools from 9 schizophrenia and 7 healthy control patients' dorsolateral prefrontal cortex aiming to identify, by mass spectrometry, alterations in protein expression that could be related to the disease. In schizophrenia-derived samples, our analysis revealed 10 downregulated and 14 upregulated proteins. These included alterations previously implicated in schizophrenia, such as oligodendrocyte-related proteins (myelin basic protein and transferrin), as well as malate dehydrogenase, aconitase, ATP synthase subunits and cytoskeleton-related proteins. Also, six new putative disease markers were identified, including energy metabolism, cytoskeleton and cell signaling proteins. Our data not only reinforces the involvement of proteins previously implicated in schizophrenia, but also suggests new markers, providing further information to foster the comprehension of this important disease.

    Journal of psychiatric research 2009;43;11;978-86

  • Subcortical oligodendrocyte- and astrocyte-associated gene expression in subjects with schizophrenia, major depression and bipolar disorder.

    Barley K, Dracheva S and Byne W

    J.J. Peters Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 130 West Kingsbridge Ave., Bronx, NY 10468, USA.

    Deficits in the expression of oligodendrocyte and myelin genes have been described in numerous cortical regions in schizophrenia and affective disorders; however, relatively little attention has been paid to subcortical structures. Here we employed quantitative real time PCR to examine the mRNA expression of 17 genes that are expressed by oligodendrocyte precursors (OLPs) and their derivatives, including astrocytes. Four subcortical regions were examined (the anteroventral (AV) and mediodorsal thalamic nuclei (MDN), internal capsule (IC) and putamen (Put)) in postmortem material from subjects (age 25-68 at time of death) with no known psychiatric history (NCs) as well as in subjects with schizophrenia (SZ), major depressive disorder (MDD), and bipolar disorder (BPD). In all regions examined, genes expressed after the terminal differentiation of oligodendrocytes tended to have lower levels of mRNA expression in subjects with SZ compared to NCs. These differences were statistically significant across regions for four genes (CNP, GALC, MAG and MOG) and approached significance for TF. No genes were under expressed in MDD. Only TF was under expressed in BPD and only in the IC. In contrast, two astrocyte-associated genes (GFAP and ALDH1L1) had higher mean expression levels across regions in all psychiatric groups relative to NCs. These differences reached statistical significance for SZ and MDD relative to NCs. There were no age by diagnosis interactions. The majority of age regressions had negative slopes for the expression of oligodendrocyte-associated genes. GFAP but not ALDH1L1 expression was significantly and positively correlated with age in the MDN, AV and Put. Across subject groups the expression of both astrocyte genes was highly correlated with cumulative neuroleptic exposure in all regions except the Put. Significant positive correlations were also observed in some regions between cumulative neuroleptic exposure and the expression of genes associated with mature oligodendrocytes as well as with bipotential OLPs. Multiple negative correlations were observed between the mRNA expression of astrocyte genes and genes expressed by terminally differentiated oligodendrocytes. These data are discussed in the context of myelin turnover and potential effects of psychiatric illness as well as medications on the developmental fate of OLPs.

    Funded by: NIMH NIH HHS: MH066998

    Schizophrenia research 2009;112;1-3;54-64

  • [Adult onset Alexander disease with a novel variant (S398F) in the glial fibrillary acidic protein gene].

    Sueda Y, Takahashi T, Ochi K, Ohtsuki T, Namekawa M, Kohriyama T, Takiyama Y and Matsumoto M

    Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Therapeutics, Hiroshima University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

    We report a 58-year-old woman with adult onset Alexander disease. At the age of 54 she noticed numbness in bilateral legs and at 57 she developed left sided spastic gait. Her walking difficulty was gradually worsened and followed by the development of weakness in left arm, dysarthria and dysphagia. Her mother and elder brother also had similar clinical presentations which suggested an autosomal dominant neurological disorder. With MRI findings showing localized atrophy of medulla oblongata and upper cervical cord with hyperintensities on T2-weighted image, diagnosis of adult onset Alexander disease was made. We performed genetic analysis and found novel variant (S398F) in the glial fibrillary acidic protein gene. In case of slowly progressive myelopathy with bulbar palsy of unknown origin, especially those with atrophy limited to medulla oblongata and upper cervical cord, adult onset Alexander disease should be taken into consideration.

    Rinsho shinkeigaku = Clinical neurology 2009;49;6;358-63

  • Expression of EAAT-1 distinguishes choroid plexus tumors from normal and reactive choroid plexus epithelium.

    Beschorner R, Pantazis G, Jeibmann A, Boy J, Meyermann R, Mittelbronn M and Schittenhelm J

    Institute for Brain Research, Eberhard-Karls-University, Tübingen, Germany. rudi.beschorner@med.uni-tuebingen.de

    Microscopic distinction of normal choroid plexus (CP) from choroid plexus tumors (CPT) may be difficult, especially in small samples of well-differentiated CP papillomas. So far, there are no established markers that reliably distinguish normal and neoplastic CP epithelium. Recently, a correlation between expression/function of glial glutamate transporters EAAT-1 (GLAST) and EAAT-2 (Glt-1) and tumor proliferation has been reported. Furthermore, we previously found that CPTs frequently express EAAT-1, but not EAAT-2. We now compared expression of EAAT-1, EAAT-2 and GFAP in non-neoplastic CP (n = 68) and CPT (n = 79) by immunohistochemistry. Tissue of normal CP was obtained from 50 autopsy cases (20 normal and 30 pathologic brains) and 18 neurosurgical specimens that included 17 fetal, 21 pediatric and 30 adult cases. In non-neoplastic postnatal CP (n = 51), focal expression of EAAT-1 was found in only two pediatric cases (4%). In CPT, expression of EAAT-1 was found in 64 of 79 (81%) tumor samples and was significantly age-dependent (P < 0.0001). Hence, EAAT-1 expression distinguishes neoplastic from normal CP, both in children (P = 0.0032) and in adults (P < 0.0001). Immunostaining for EAAT-2 in selected samples from cases of different ages showed that normal CP (n = 15) or CPT (n = 16) lacked EAAT-2 expression. GFAP expression was found in 3 of 32 (10%) normal CP and in 28 of 73 (38%) tumor samples. In conclusion, in contrast to neoplastic CP samples, expression of EAAT-1 is exceptionally rare in non-neoplastic CP. Thus, EAAT-1 is superior to GFAP as a helpful diagnostic tool in CP samples.

    Acta neuropathologica 2009;117;6;667-75

  • Marked increase in cerebrospinal fluid glial fibrillar acidic protein in neuromyelitis optica: an astrocytic damage marker.

    Misu T, Takano R, Fujihara K, Takahashi T, Sato S and Itoyama Y

    Department of Neurology, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, Aobaku, Sendai, Japan. misu@em.neurol.med.tohoku.ac.jp

    Background: Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) is a neurological inflammatory disease associated with autoimmunity to aquaporin 4, predominantly localised in astrocytic foot processes. Recent studies have revealed that loss of aquaporin 4 and glial fibrillar acidic protein (GFAP) is a prominent feature of NMO lesions, suggesting astrocytic impairment.

    Objective: To reveal a useful clinical biomarker of NMO.

    Methods: Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays were carried out for astrocytic markers GFAP and S100B in CSFs, obtained from the patients with NMO (n = 10) and multiple sclerosis (MS) (n = 10) manifesting acute myelitis, acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) (n = 3), spinal infarction (n = 3), and other neurological diseases (OND) (n = 5).

    Results: The CSF-GFAP levels during relapse in NMO (7666.0 (SD 15 266.5) ng/ml) were significantly over several thousand times higher than those in MS (0.7 (1.5)) or OND (0.6 (0.3)), and considerably higher than those in spinal infarction (354.7 (459.0)) and ADEM (0.4 (0.2)). They returned close to normal levels along with clinical improvement soon after corticosteroid therapy in NMO. There were strong correlations between the CSF-GFAP or S100B levels and expanded disability status scales or spinal lesion length in NMO (r>0.9).

    Conclusions: CSF-GFAP and S100B may be clinically useful biomarkers in NMO, and astrocytic damage is strongly suggested in the acute phase of NMO.

    Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry 2009;80;5;575-7

  • Proteome analysis of schizophrenia patients Wernicke's area reveals an energy metabolism dysregulation.

    Martins-de-Souza D, Gattaz WF, Schmitt A, Novello JC, Marangoni S, Turck CW and Dias-Neto E

    Laboratório de Neurociências, Instituto de Psiquiatria, Faculdade de Medicina da USP, Rua Dr, Ovídio Pires de Campos, no 785, São Paulo, SP, CEP 05403-010, Brazil. martins@mpipsykl.mpg.de

    Background: Schizophrenia is likely to be a consequence of DNA alterations that, together with environmental factors, will lead to protein expression differences and the ultimate establishment of the illness. The superior temporal gyrus is implicated in schizophrenia and executes functions such as the processing of speech, language skills and sound processing.

    Methods: We performed an individual comparative proteome analysis using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis of 9 schizophrenia and 6 healthy control patients' left posterior superior temporal gyrus (Wernicke's area - BA22p) identifying by mass spectrometry several protein expression alterations that could be related to the disease.

    Results: Our analysis revealed 11 downregulated and 14 upregulated proteins, most of them related to energy metabolism. Whereas many of the identified proteins have been previously implicated in schizophrenia, such as fructose-bisphosphate aldolase C, creatine kinase and neuron-specific enolase, new putative disease markers were also identified such as dihydrolipoyl dehydrogenase, tropomyosin 3, breast cancer metastasis-suppressor 1, heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoproteins C1/C2 and phosphate carrier protein, mitochondrial precursor. Besides, the differential expression of peroxiredoxin 6 (PRDX6) and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) were confirmed by western blot in schizophrenia prefrontal cortex.

    Conclusion: Our data supports a dysregulation of energy metabolism in schizophrenia as well as suggests new markers that may contribute to a better understanding of this complex disease.

    BMC psychiatry 2009;9;17

  • Suppression of GFAP toxicity by alphaB-crystallin in mouse models of Alexander disease.

    Hagemann TL, Boelens WC, Wawrousek EF and Messing A

    Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53705, USA. hagemann@waisman.wisc.edu

    Alexander disease (AxD) is a primary disorder of astrocytes caused by dominant mutations in the gene for glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). These mutations lead to protein aggregation and formation of Rosenthal fibers, complex astrocytic inclusions that contain GFAP, vimentin, plectin, ubiquitin, Hsp27 and alphaB-crystallin. The small heat shock protein alphaB-crystallin (Cryab) regulates GFAP assembly, and elevation of Cryab is a consistent feature of AxD; however, its role in Rosenthal fibers and AxD pathology is not known. Here, we show in AxD mouse models that loss of Cryab results in increased mortality, whereas elevation of Cryab rescues animals from terminal seizures. When mice with Rosenthal fibers induced by over-expression of GFAP are crossed into a Cryab-null background, over half die at 1 month of age. Restoration of Cryab expression through the GFAP promoter reverses this outcome, showing the effect is astrocyte-specific. Conversely, in mice engineered to express both AxD-associated mutations and elevated GFAP, which despite natural induction of Cryab also die at 1 month, transgenic over-expression of Cryab results in a markedly reduced CNS stress response, restores expression of the glutamate transporter Glt1 (EAAT2) and protects these animals from death. In its most common form, AxD is a devastating neurodegenerative disease, with early onset, characterized by seizures, spasticity and developmental delays, ultimately leading to death. Cryab plays a critical role in tempering AxD pathology and should be investigated as a therapeutic target for this and other diseases with astropathology.

    Funded by: NICHD NIH HHS: HD03352; NINDS NIH HHS: NS060120, NS42803, P01 NS042803, R01 NS060120

    Human molecular genetics 2009;18;7;1190-9

  • An infantile case of Alexander disease unusual for its MRI features and a GFAP allele carrying both the p.Arg79His mutation and the p.Glu223Gln coding variant.

    Dotti MT, Buccoliero R, Lee A, Gorospe JR, Flint D, Galluzzi P, Bianchi S, D'Eramo C, Naidu S, Federico A and Brenner M

    Funded by: NICHD NIH HHS: P30 HD038985, P30 HD038985-07S19002, P30HD38985; NINDS NIH HHS: P01 NS042803, P01 NS042803-07S10005, P01NS42803

    Journal of neurology 2009;256;4;679-82

  • Human cytomegalovirus infection downregulates the expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein in human glioblastoma U373MG cells: identification of viral genes and protein domains involved.

    Koh K, Lee K, Ahn JH and Kim S

    School of Biological Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-747, Republic of Korea.

    Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) has tropism for glial cells, among many other cell types. It was reported previously that the stable expression of HCMV immediate-early protein 1 (IE1) could dramatically reduce the RNA level of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), an astroglial cell-specific intermediate filament protein, which is progressively lost with an increase in glioma malignancy. To understand this phenomenon in the context of virus infection, a human glioblastoma cell line, U373MG, was infected with HCMV (strain AD169 or Towne). The RNA level of GFAP was reduced by more than 10-fold at an m.o.i. of 3 at 48 h post-infection, whilst virus treated with neutralizing antibody C23 or with UV light had a much-reduced effect. Treatment of infected cells with ganciclovir did not prevent HCMV-mediated downregulation of GFAP. Although the expression of GFAP RNA is downregulated in IE1-expressing cells, a mutant HCMV strain lacking IE1 still suppressed GFAP, indicating that other IE proteins may be involved. IE2 is also proposed to be involved in GFAP downregulation, as an adenoviral vector expressing IE2 could also reduce the RNA level of GFAP. Data from the mutational analysis indicated that HCMV infection might affect the expression of this structural protein significantly, primarily through the C-terminal acidic region of the IE1 protein.

    The Journal of general virology 2009;90;Pt 4;954-62

  • Alterations in oligodendrocyte proteins, calcium homeostasis and new potential markers in schizophrenia anterior temporal lobe are revealed by shotgun proteome analysis.

    Martins-de-Souza D, Gattaz WF, Schmitt A, Rewerts C, Marangoni S, Novello JC, Maccarrone G, Turck CW and Dias-Neto E

    Laboratório de Neurociências, Faculdade de Medicina da USP, Instituto de Psiquiatria, Universidade de São Paulo, Rua Dr. Ovídio Pires de Campos, No 785, s/n Consolação, São Paulo, SP, CEP 05403-010, Brazil. danms90@gmail.com

    Global proteomic analysis of post-mortem anterior temporal lobe samples from schizophrenia patients and non-schizophrenia individuals was performed using stable isotope labeling and shotgun proteomics. Our analysis resulted in the identification of 479 proteins, 37 of which showed statistically significant differential expression. Pathways affected by differential protein expression include transport, signal transduction, energy pathways, cell growth and maintenance and protein metabolism. The collection of protein alterations identified here reinforces the importance of myelin/oligodendrocyte and calcium homeostasis in schizophrenia, and reveals a number of new potential markers that may contribute to the understanding of the pathogenesis of this complex disease.

    Journal of neural transmission (Vienna, Austria : 1996) 2009;116;3;275-89

  • Immunohistochemical comparison of chordoma with chondrosarcoma, myxopapillary ependymoma, and chordoid meningioma.

    Cho HY, Lee M, Takei H, Dancer J, Ro JY and Zhai QJ

    Department of Pathology, The Methodist Hospital, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, Houston, TX 77030, USA.

    Chordoma originates from embryonic notochordal remnants in the midline along the spinal axis and is characterized by cords and lobules of neoplastic cells arranged within myxoid matrix. Because of histologic similarities with myxoid matrix and overlapping immunohistochemical profile, chondrosarcoma, myxopapillary ependymoma, and chordoid meningioma enter in the histologic differential diagnosis at this site. Therefore, the judicious use of a panel of selected immunostains is unquestionably helpful in diagnostically challenging cases. To find useful immunohistochemical markers for assisting in differential diagnosis between chordoma and other tumors with chordoid morphology, an immunohistochemical study using D2-40, epithelial membrane antigen (EMA), pan-cytokeratin (panCK), glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), S-100 protein, galectin-3, neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM), beta-catenin, E-cadherin, and carcinoembryonic antigen was performed on 14 chordomas, 7 chondrosarcomas, 9 myxopapillary ependymomas, and 4 chordoid meningiomas. Chordoma typically showed positive for EMA and panCK and negative for D2-40 and GFAP; whereas chondrosarcoma revealed positive for D2-40, and negative for EMA, panCK, and GFAP; myxopapillary ependymoma positive for GFAP and negative for EMA; and chordoid meningioma positive for EMA, and negative for panCK and GFAP. On the basis of our immunohistochemical study, a panel of D2-40, EMA, panCK, and GFAP allowed the correct recognition of all tumors examined. Other immunohistochemical markers including S-100 protein, galectin-3, NCAM, beta-catenin, E-cadherin, and carcinoembryonic antigen were of little value in differential diagnosis. In summary, the best immunohistochemical markers useful for the evaluation of tumors with chordoid morphology were D2-40, EMA, cytokeratin, and GFAP. D2-40 was a true chondroid marker to be useful for the differential diagnosis with chordoma.

    Applied immunohistochemistry & molecular morphology : AIMM 2009;17;2;131-8

  • Explorative investigation of biomarkers of brain damage and coagulation system activation in clinical stroke differentiation.

    Undén J, Strandberg K, Malm J, Campbell E, Rosengren L, Stenflo J, Norrving B, Romner B, Lindgren A and Andsberg G

    Dept. of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care, Halmstad Regional Hospital, 30185 Halmstad, Sweden. johan.unden@lthalland.se

    Introduction: A simple and accurate method of differentiating ischemic stroke and intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is potentially useful to facilitate acute therapeutic management. Blood measurements of biomarkers of brain damage and activation of the coagulation system may potentially serve as novel diagnostic tools for stroke subtypes.

    Methods: Ninety-seven stroke patients were prospectively investigated in a multicenter design with blood levels of brain biomarkers S100B, neuron specific enolase (NSE), glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) as well as a coagulation biomarker, activated protein C-protein C inhibitor complex (APC-PCI), within 24 hours of symptom onset.

    Results: Eighty-three patients (86%) had ischemic stroke and fourteen patients (14%) had ICH. There were no differences in S100B (p=0.13) and NSE (p=0.67) levels between patients with ischemic stroke or ICH. However, GFAP levels were significantly higher in ICH patients (p=0.0057). APC-PCI levels were higher in larger ischemic strokes (p=0.020). The combination of GFAP and APC-PCI levels, in patients with NIHSS score more than 3, had a sensitivity and negative predictive value of 100% for ICH in our material (p=0.0052).

    Conclusion: This exploratory study indicated that blood levels of biomarkers GFAP and APC-PCI, prior to neuroimaging, may rule out ICH in a mixed stroke population.

    Journal of neurology 2009;256;1;72-7

  • [Expression of myelin basic protein and glial fibrillary acidic protein genes in human glial brain tumors].

    Dmytrenko VV, Boĭko OI, Shostak KO, Bilets'kyĭ AV, Malysheva TA, Shamaiev MI, Kliuchka VM, Rozumenko VD, Zozulia IuP and Kavsan VM

    Analysis of the expression of genes encoding myelin basic protein (MBP) and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) genes in human glial tumors was carried out for determination of the expression specificity of these genes according to tumor types and their malignancy. Low levels of MBP mRNA in astrocytoma specimens of malignancy grades II-IV and significantly higher levels in perifocal zone adjacent to them have been determined by Northern hybridization. Diffuse astrocytomas and anaplastic astrocytomas are characterized mostly by low level of MBP gene expression and high level of GFAP gene expression, but distinct subtypes of diffuse and anaplastic astrocytomas with high level of MBP gene and low level of GFAP gene expression can be also detected that may be the reflection of different oncogenic pathways. Very low levels or even absence of MBP mRNA were revealed in oligodendroglioma and all oligoastrocytomas. Thus, Northern hybridization data are correlated with Serial Analysis of Gene Expression (SAGE). Obtained results show that MBP is nonspecific marker for tumors of oligodendroglial origin, but determination of relative levels of MBP and GFAP mRNAs may be useful for glial tumors recognition. By such a way, these two genes together with previously found by us YKL-40 and TSC-22 can be included into the gene panel for the determination of so called "gene signatures" of brain tumors. However, severe requirements in relation to a clinical value of these "gene signatures" can not be formulated without their verification on plenty of clinical samples of tumors and valid control.

    TSitologiia i genetika 2009;43;1;28-35

  • Proteomic analysis reveals Hrs ubiquitin-interacting motif-mediated ubiquitin signaling in multiple cellular processes.

    Pridgeon JW, Webber EA, Sha D, Li L and Chin LS

    Department of Pharmacology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.

    Despite the critical importance of protein ubiquitination in the regulation of diverse cellular processes, the molecular mechanisms by which cells recognize and transmit ubiquitin signals remain poorly understood. The endosomal sorting machinery component hepatocyte growth factor-regulated tyrosine kinase substrate (Hrs) contains a ubiquitin-interacting motif (UIM), which is believed to bind ubiquitinated membrane cargo proteins and mediate their sorting to the lysosomal degradation pathway. To gain insight into the role of Hrs UIM-mediated ubiquitin signaling in cells, we performed a proteomic screen for Hrs UIM-interacting ubiquitinated proteins in human brain by using an in vitro expression cloning screening approach. We have identified 48 ubiquitinated proteins that are specifically recognized by the UIM domain of Hrs. Among them, 12 are membrane proteins that are likely to be Hrs cargo proteins, and four are membrane protein-associated adaptor proteins whose ubiquitination may act as a signal to target their associated membrane cargo for Hrs-mediated endosomal sorting. Other classes of the identified proteins include components of the vesicular trafficking machinery, cell signaling molecules, proteins associated with the cytoskeleton and cytoskeleton-dependent transport, and enzymes involved in ubiquitination and metabolism, suggesting the involvement of Hrs UIM-mediated ubiquitin signaling in the regulation of multiple cellular processes. We have characterized the ubiquitination of two identified proteins, Munc18-1 and Hsc70, and their interaction with Hrs UIM, and provided functional evidence supporting a role for Hsc70 in the regulation of Hrs-mediated endosome-to-lysosome trafficking.

    Funded by: NIGMS NIH HHS: GM082828, R01 GM082828, R01 GM082828-01A1, R01 GM082828-02, R01 GM082828-02S1; NINDS NIH HHS: NS047575, NS050650, R01 NS047575, R01 NS047575-01, R01 NS047575-02, R01 NS047575-03, R01 NS047575-04, R01 NS050650, R01 NS050650-01A1, R01 NS050650-02, R01 NS050650-03, R01 NS050650-04, T32 NS007480, T32 NS007480-05, T32 NS007480-06, T32 NS007480-07, T32 NS007480-08, T32 NS007480-09, T32NS007480

    The FEBS journal 2009;276;1;118-31

  • Population variation in glial fibrillary acidic protein levels in brain ageing: relationship to Alzheimer-type pathology and dementia.

    Wharton SB, O'Callaghan JP, Savva GM, Nicoll JA, Matthews F, Simpson JE, Forster G, Shaw PJ, Brayne C, Ince PG and MRC Cognitive Function and Ageing Neuropathology Study Group

    Academic Unit of Pathology, University of Sheffield Medical School, Sheffield, UK. s.wharton@sheffield.ac.uk

    Background: The cellular pathology of astrocytes in brain ageing and their role in modulating the brain's response to neurodegenerative pathology remain incompletely understood.

    Methods: Using quantitative ELISA, we have investigated glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) expression in the population-based neuropathology cohort of the Medical Research Council Cognitive Function and Ageing Study to determine: (1) the population variation in the astroglial hypertrophic response, (2) its relationship to the presence of Alzheimer-type pathology, and (3) its association with cognition.

    Results: Increasing GFAP was found with increasing Braak stage, levels increasing even at early stages. Within Braak stages, GFAP did not differ between demented and non-demented individuals, but there was greater variance in GFAP in the demented. Possession of ApoE epsilon4 was associated with slightly increased GFAP levels (not significant) for given amyloid beta protein loads.

    Conclusion: In a population-based sample, increasing gliosis precedes development of Alzheimer lesions. Population variation in GFAP with varying Alzheimer lesion burdens suggests that they are not the only driver for astrogliosis. GFAP was not independently predictive of dementia, but the variation in astrocytic responses may be a factor modulating brain responses to neurodegenerative pathology.

    Funded by: Medical Research Council: G0300126, G9901400, MC_U105292687

    Dementia and geriatric cognitive disorders 2009;27;5;465-73

  • Oxidative stress, telomere length and biomarkers of physical aging in a cohort aged 79 years from the 1932 Scottish Mental Survey.

    Starr JM, Shiels PG, Harris SE, Pattie A, Pearce MS, Relton CL and Deary IJ

    MRC Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology, University of Edinburgh, Royal Victoria Hospital, Edinburgh EH4 2DN, UK. jstarr@staffmail.ed.ac.uk

    Telomere shortening is a biomarker of cellular senescence and is associated with a wide range of age-related disease. Oxidative stress is also associated with physiological aging and several age-related diseases. Non-human studies suggest that variants in oxidative stress genes may contribute to both telomere shortening and biological aging. We sought to test whether oxidative stress-related gene polymorphisms contribute to variance in both telomere length and physical biomarkers of aging in humans. Telomere lengths were calculated for 190 (82 men, 108 women) participants aged 79 years and associations with 384 SNPs, from 141 oxidative stress genes, identified 9 significant SNPS, of which those from 5 genes (GSTZ1, MSRA, NDUFA3, NDUFA8, VIM) had robust associations with physical aging biomarkers, respiratory function or grip strength. Replication of associations in a sample of 318 (120 males, 198 females) participants aged 50 years confirmed significant associations for two of the five SNPs (MSRA rs4841322, p=0.008; NDUFA8 rs6822, p=0.048) on telomere length. These data indicate that oxidative stress genes may be involved in pathways that lead to both telomere shortening and physiological aging in humans. Oxidative stress may explain, at least in part, associations between telomere shortening and physiological aging.

    Funded by: Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council: S18386; Chief Scientist Office: CZB/4/505, ETM/55; Medical Research Council; Wellcome Trust

    Mechanisms of ageing and development 2008;129;12;745-51

  • Glial fibrillary acidic protein filaments can tolerate the incorporation of assembly-compromised GFAP-delta, but with consequences for filament organization and alphaB-crystallin association.

    Perng MD, Wen SF, Gibbon T, Middeldorp J, Sluijs J, Hol EM and Quinlan RA

    School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, The University of Durham, Durham DH1 3LE, United Kingdom.

    The glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) gene is alternatively spliced to give GFAP-alpha, the most abundant isoform, and seven other differentially expressed transcripts including GFAP-delta. GFAP-delta has an altered C-terminal domain that renders it incapable of self-assembly in vitro. When titrated with GFAP-alpha, assembly was restored providing GFAP-delta levels were kept low (approximately 10%). In a range of immortalized and transformed astrocyte derived cell lines and human spinal cord, we show that GFAP-delta is naturally part of the endogenous intermediate filaments, although levels were low (approximately 10%). This suggests that GFAP filaments can naturally accommodate a small proportion of assembly-compromised partners. Indeed, two other assembly-compromised GFAP constructs, namely enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP)-tagged GFAP and the Alexander disease-causing GFAP mutant, R416W GFAP both showed similar in vitro assembly characteristics to GFAP-delta and could also be incorporated into endogenous filament networks in transfected cells, providing expression levels were kept low. Another common feature was the increased association of alphaB-crystallin with the intermediate filament fraction of transfected cells. These studies suggest that the major physiological role of the assembly-compromised GFAP-delta splice variant is as a modulator of the GFAP filament surface, effecting changes in both protein- and filament-filament associations as well as Jnk phosphorylation.

    Funded by: NINDS NIH HHS: P01 NS042803, P01 NS042803-010004, P01NS42803

    Molecular biology of the cell 2008;19;10;4521-33

  • Glial fibrillary acidic protein: a marker of axonal Guillain-Barrè syndrome and outcome.

    Notturno F, Caporale CM, De Lauretis A and Uncini A

    Department of Human Motor Sciences and Neuromuscular Diseases Unit, University G. d'Annunzio and Institute of Aging, Foundation University G. d'Annunzio, Clinica Neurologica, Ospedale SS. Annunziata, via Dei Vestini, Chieti, Italy.

    Glial fibrillary acid protein (GFAP) is increased in serum and cerebrospinal fluid of patients with dementia, traumatic brain injury, stroke, and multiple sclerosis. To determine whether GFAP is increased in Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) we evaluated serum GFAP in 30 controls, 20 patients with acute inflammatory demyelinating neuropathy (AIDP), and 17 with primary axonal GBS. Serum GFAP levels were increased in axonal GBS (median, 0.74) compared with controls (median, 0.41; P < 0.0001) and AIDP (median, 0.58; P = 0.0015). GFAP levels correlated with Hughes grades (serum r = 0.74; P < 0.0001) 6 months after neuropathy onset. Applying the cutoff value in serum of 0.63 to the diagnosis of axonal GBS, we obtained a sensitivity of 76.5% and a specificity of 86%. Thus, serum GFAP levels may be used in GBS as a diagnostic marker of the axonal variant and to predict outcome.

    Muscle & nerve 2008;38;1;899-903

  • Autophagy induced by Alexander disease-mutant GFAP accumulation is regulated by p38/MAPK and mTOR signaling pathways.

    Tang G, Yue Z, Talloczy Z, Hagemann T, Cho W, Messing A, Sulzer DL and Goldman JE

    Department of Pathology, Center for Neurobiology and Behavior, Center for Parkinson's Disease and Other Movement Disorders, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA.

    Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) is the principle intermediate filament (IF) protein in astrocytes. Mutations in the GFAP gene lead to Alexander disease (AxD), a rare, fatal neurological disorder characterized by the presence of abnormal astrocytes that contain GFAP protein aggregates, termed Rosenthal fibers (RFs), and the loss of myelin. All GFAP mutations cause the same histopathological defect, i.e. RFs, though little is known how the mutations affect protein accumulation as well as astrocyte function. In this study, we found that GFAP accumulation induces macroautophagy, a key clearance mechanism for prevention of aggregated proteins. This autophagic response is negatively regulated by mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). The activation of p38 MAPK by GFAP accumulation is in part responsible for the down-regulation of phosphorylated-mTOR and the subsequent activation of autophagy. Our study suggests that AxD mutant GFAP accumulation stimulates autophagy, in a manner regulated by p38 MAPK and mTOR signaling pathways. Autophagy, in turn, serves as a mechanism to reduce GFAP levels.

    Funded by: NICHD NIH HHS: P30-HD03352; NINDS NIH HHS: P01 NS042803, P01NS42803

    Human molecular genetics 2008;17;11;1540-55

  • Mild functional effects of a novel GFAP mutant allele identified in a familial case of adult-onset Alexander disease.

    Bachetti T, Caroli F, Bocca P, Prigione I, Balbi P, Biancheri R, Filocamo M, Mariotti C, Pareyson D, Ravazzolo R and Ceccherini I

    Laboratory of Molecular Genetics, G Gaslini Institute, Genoa, Italy.

    Alexander disease is a neurological genetic disorder characterized by progressive white-matter degeneration, with astrocytes containing cytoplasmic aggregates, called Rosenthal fibers, including the intermediate filament glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). The age of onset of the disease defines three different forms, infantile, juvenile and adult, all due to heterozygous GFAP mutations and characterized by a progressive less severe phenotype from infantile to adult forms. In an Italian family with a recurrent mild adult onset of Alexander disease, we have identified two GFAP mutations, coupled on a same allele, leading to p.[R330G; E332K]. Functional studies on this complex allele revealed less severe aggregation patterns compared to those observed with p.R239C GFAP mutant, associated with a severe Alexander disease phenotype. Moreover, in addition to confirming the involvement of the ubiquitin-proteasome system in cleaning cells from aggregates and a dominant effect of the novel mutant protein, in cells expressing the mild p.[R330G; E332K] mutant we have observed that indirect alphaB-crystallin overexpression, induced by high extracellular potassium concentration, could completely rescue the correct filament organization while, under the same experimental conditions, in cells expressing the severe p.R239C mutant only a partial rescue effect could be achieved.

    European journal of human genetics : EJHG 2008;16;4;462-70

  • Clinical and genetic study in Chinese patients with Alexander disease.

    Ye Wu, Qiang Gu, Jingmin Wang, Yanling Yang, Xiru Wu and Yuwu Jiang

    Department of Pediatrics, First Hospital, Peking University, Beijing, China.

    Alexander disease is a rare progressive leukoencephalopathy inherited in an autosomal dominant manner. The infantile form is the most common, with onset before 2 years of age. The typical clinical signs include psychomotor retardation and regression, seizures, and megalencephaly. Juvenile and adult forms are also recognized. The neuropathology of Alexander disease is characterized by abundant presence of Rosenthal fibers in astrocytes in the brain. GFAP has been identified to be the only gene associated with Alexander disease since 2001. Only 1 patient with Alexander disease confirmed by genetic testing has been reported in mainland China. To get further information of the clinical and genetic characteristics of Chinese patients, we analyzed an additional 3 cases with the infantile or juvenile form. A novel mutation, Y83H, and a previously reported mutation, R88C, were identified in these patients. Both mutations were heterozygous and de novo. The results of this research expand the number of patients with Alexander disease found to have GFAP coding mutations in mainland China. A novel missense mutation, Y83H, is identified.

    Journal of child neurology 2008;23;2;173-7

  • Adult-onset Alexander disease : report on a family.

    Balbi P, Seri M, Ceccherini I, Uggetti C, Casale R, Fundarò C, Caroli F and Santoro L

    Clinical Neurophysiology, Scientific Institute of Montescano IRCCS Fondazione S.Maugeri, via per Montescano, 27040, Montescano, PV, Italy. pbalbi@fsm.it

    Pathogenic, dominant, de novo missense mutations in the glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) have been found in the three subtypes of infantile, juvenile and adult Alexander disease. Here we describe four members of an Italian family (32 to 66-yearsold, 2 women and 2 men) affected by adult Alexander disease, the least common and the most clinically variable form. Direct sequencing of all coding regions of the GFAP gene, neurological examination and brain MRI were performed. Two novel missense mutations were found involving two very close codons, c.[988C > G, 994G > A], leading to p.[Arg330Gly, Glu332Lys]. Clinically, two members exhibited pseudo-bulbar signs, gait ataxia and spasticity, one showed a severe cranial sensory symptomatology, and one subject was asymptomatic.Medulla and cervical cord atrophy was present in all of them on MRI. Although adult Alexander disease shows a wide clinical variability, a more frequent pattern can be identified characterized by bulbar or pseudo-bulbar signs, gait ataxia, and spasticity, and including on MRI medulla and cervical cord atrophy. Our findings also confirm that the clinical spectrum of adult Alexander disease includes cases without overt neurological involvement and with minimal brain MRI alterations.

    Journal of neurology 2008;255;1;24-30

  • Novel deletion mutation in GFAP gene in an infantile form of Alexander disease.

    Murakami N, Tsuchiya T, Kanazawa N, Tsujino S and Nagai T

    Department of Pediatrics, Dokkyo Medical University, Koshigaya Hospital, Koshigaya, Saitama, Japan. nobuyuki@dokkyomed.ac.jp

    Alexander disease is a rare, fatal neurologic disorder characterized by white-matter degeneration and cytoplasmic inclusions in astrocytes known as Rosenthal fibers, which are immunohistochemically positive to glial fibrillary acidic protein. Mutations in the glial fibrillary acidic protein gene were reported in patients with Alexander disease who had clinical and pathologic characteristics of the disease. All reported cases manifest heterozygous missense mutations, except for some insertions or deletions with no frame shift. Our patient had a heterozygous deletion of genomic sequence 1247-1249GGG>GG in exon 8 of the glial fibrillary acidic protein gene, which leads to a frame shift changing 16 amino acids and inducing a stop codon at codon 431 of 432 codons. The deletion mutation induces a structural conformation change in glial fibrillary acidic protein and their abnormal aggregation in astrocytes. This is the first report of a novel deletion mutation in the glial fibrillary acidic protein gene with a frame shift associated with Alexander disease.

    Pediatric neurology 2008;38;1;50-2

  • Alexander disease with occipital predominance and a novel c.799G>C mutation in the GFAP gene.

    Hinttala R, Karttunen V, Karttunen A, Herva R, Uusimaa J and Remes AM

    Acta neuropathologica 2007;114;5;543-5

  • GFAP mutations and polymorphisms in 13 unrelated Italian patients affected by Alexander disease.

    Caroli F, Biancheri R, Seri M, Rossi A, Pessagno A, Bugiani M, Corsolini F, Savasta S, Romano S, Antonelli C, Romano A, Pareyson D, Gambero P, Uziel G, Ravazzolo R, Ceccherini I and Filocamo M

    Laboratory of Molecular Genetics, G. Gaslini Institute, Genoa, Italy.

    Alexander disease (AD), a rare neurodegenerative disorder of the central nervous system, is characterized by the accumulation of cytoplasmic protein aggregates (Rosenthal fibers) composed of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and small heat-shock proteins within astrocytes. To date, more than 40 different GFAP mutations have been reported in AD. The present study is aimed at the molecular diagnosis of Italian patients suspected to be affected by AD. By analyzing the GFAP gene of 13 unrelated patients (eight with infantile form, two with juvenile form and three with adult form), we found 11 different alleles, including four new ones. Among the novel mutations, three (p.R70Q, p.R73K, and p.R79P) were identified in exon 1 and p.L359P in exon 6. The sequence analysis also detected six different single nucleotide polymorphic variants, including two previously unreported ones, spread throughout non-coding regions (introns 2, 3, 5, 6, and 3'UTR) of the gene. All patients were heterozygous for the mutations, thus confirming their dominant effect.

    Funded by: Telethon: GTF04002

    Clinical genetics 2007;72;5;427-33

  • An adult form of Alexander disease: a novel mutation in glial fibrillary acidic protein.

    Ohnari K, Yamano M, Uozumi T, Hashimoto T, Tsuji S and Nakagawa M

    Dept. of Neurology, University of Occupational and Environmental Health, School of Medicine Yahatanishi-ku, Kitakyushu, 807-8555, Japan. keiko-o@med.uoeh-u.ac.jp

    Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) mutation has been reported in Alexander disease. We report a patient with the adult form of Alexander disease who shows a novel mutation in GFAP. This case presented with progressive dysarthria, dysphagia and spastic gait on the right side. Brain and spinal cord MRI showed marked atrophy of the medulla oblongata and spinal cord. Abnormal high signal intensities in the ventral medulla oblongata were detected bilaterally. There were no white matter lesions or contrast enhancing lesions. Recently, there have been reports of patients with a juvenile form of Alexander disease presenting with atrophy or signal abnormalities of the medulla or spinal cord. Atrophy of the medulla and spinal cord have specifically been described as suggestive of Alexander disease [1]. Sequence analysis of the GFAP gene of this patient showed a heterozygous c.221T>C mutation, predicting a p.M74T amino acid change. In all patients suspected of Alexander disease on the basis of MRI findings, GFAP analysis is necessary to confirm the diagnosis.

    Journal of neurology 2007;254;10;1390-4

  • A novel mutation in the GFAP gene in a familial adult onset Alexander disease.

    Salmaggi A, Botturi A, Lamperti E, Grisoli M, Fischetto R, Ceccherini I, Caroli F and Boiardi A

    Journal of neurology 2007;254;9;1278-80

  • A genetic association analysis of cognitive ability and cognitive ageing using 325 markers for 109 genes associated with oxidative stress or cognition.

    Harris SE, Fox H, Wright AF, Hayward C, Starr JM, Whalley LJ and Deary IJ

    Department of Psychology, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK. Sarah.Harris@hgu.mrc.ac.uk <Sarah.Harris@hgu.mrc.ac.uk&gt;

    Background: Non-pathological cognitive ageing is a distressing condition affecting an increasing number of people in our 'ageing society'. Oxidative stress is hypothesised to have a major role in cellular ageing, including brain ageing.

    Results: Associations between cognitive ageing and 325 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), located in 109 genes implicated in oxidative stress and/or cognition, were examined in a unique cohort of relatively healthy older people, on whom we have cognitive ability scores at ages 11 and 79 years (LBC1921). SNPs showing a significant positive association were then genotyped in a second cohort for whom we have cognitive ability scores at the ages of 11 and 64 years (ABC1936). An intronic SNP in the APP gene (rs2830102) was significantly associated with cognitive ageing in both LBC1921 and a combined LBC1921/ABC1936 analysis (p < 0.01), but not in ABC1936 alone.

    Conclusion: This study suggests a possible role for APP in normal cognitive ageing, in addition to its role in Alzheimer's disease.

    Funded by: Medical Research Council: MC_U127561128

    BMC genetics 2007;8;43

  • Novel mutations in exon 6 of the GFAP gene affect a highly conserved if motif in the rod domain 2B and are associated with early onset infantile Alexander disease.

    Hartmann H, Herchenbach J, Stephani U, Ledaal P, Donnerstag F, Lücke T, Das AM, Christen HJ, Hagedorn M and Meins M

    1Department of Paediatrics, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany. hartmann.hans@mh-hannover.de

    Alexander disease is a rare disorder of cerebral white matter due to a dysfunction of astrocytes. The most common infantile form presents as a megalencephalic leukodystrophy. Mutations of the GFAP gene, encoding Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein, have been recognized as the cause of Alexander disease. Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein is the major intermediate filament protein in astrocytes, its functional rod domain is conserved in sequence and structure among other intermediate filament proteins. We report here two cases of infantile Alexander disease with early onset and severe course, caused by DE NOVO mutations A364 V and Y366C. Both affected GFAP residues are part of a highly conserved coiled-coil trigger motif in the C-terminal end of segment 2B, probably required for the stability of intermediate filament molecules. Comparable effects are seen with mutations of the corresponding residues of the gene coding for keratin 14, another intermediate filament, this further supports the hypothesis that these positions of the trigger motif are generally critical for a normal function of intermediate filaments.

    Neuropediatrics 2007;38;3;143-7

  • Identification and characterization of GFAPkappa, a novel glial fibrillary acidic protein isoform.

    Blechingberg J, Holm IE, Nielsen KB, Jensen TH, Jørgensen AL and Nielsen AL

    Institute of Human Genetics, The Bartholin Building, University of Aarhus, Aarhus C DK-8000, Denmark.

    Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) is the principal component of the intermediary filaments in mature astrocytes of the central nervous system (CNS). The protein consists of three domains: the head, the coiled-coil, and the tail. Here, we describe the isolation of an evolutionary conserved novel GFAP isoform, GFAPkappa, produced by alternative splicing and polyadenylation of the 3'-region of the human GFAP pre-mRNA. As a consequence, the resulting human GFAPkappa protein harbors a nonconserved C-terminal tail sequence distinct from the tails of GFAPalpha, the predominant GFAP isoform, and GFAPepsilon, an isoform which also results from alternative splicing. The head and coiled-coil rod domains are identical between the three GFAP isoforms. Interestingly, GFAPkappa is incapable of forming homomeric filaments, and increasing GFAPkappa expression levels causes a collapse of intermediate filaments formed by GFAPalpha. In searching for a biological relevance of GFAPkappa, we noticed that mRNA expression levels of GFAPalpha, GFAPepsilon, and GFAPkappa are gradually increased during development of the embryonic pig brain. However, whereas the GFAPalpha/GFAPepsilon ratio is constant, the GFAPkappa/GFAPepsilon ratio decreases during brain development. Furthermore, in glioblastoma tumors, an increased GFAPkappa/GFAPepsilon ratio is detected. Our results suggest that the relative expression level of the GFAPkappa isoform could modulate the properties of GFAP intermediate filaments and perhaps thereby influencing the motility of GFAP positive astrocytes and progenitor cells within the CNS.

    Glia 2007;55;5;497-507

  • Colocalization of glial fibrillary acidic protein, metallothionein, and MHC II in human, rat, NOD/SCID, and nude mouse skin keratinocytes and fibroblasts.

    Danielyan L, Tolstonog G, Traub P, Salvetter J, Gleiter CH, Reisig D, Gebhardt R and Buniatian GH

    Department of Clinical Pharmacology, University Hospital, Tuebingen, Germany.

    The expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) by perivascular cells of many mammalian organs suggests an as yet unknown function of this intermediate filament protein in the maintenance of homeostasis and vascular permeability at the blood-tissue interface. Although a similar situation may exist at the air-tissue interface, the cellular distribution of GFAP in skin tissue has never been demonstrated. To approach this issue, we have employed immunofluorescence and Western blotting techniques to detect GFAP in skin sections of young and adult humans, normal rodents, and two types of mutant mice, as well as in rat lung sections, and in cultured human keratinocytes and fibroblasts. Colocalization with antigens known to be associated with GFAP in other tissues was also tested. Epidermal and hair follicle keratinocytes and dermal fibroblasts showed distinct staining for GFAP as well as colocalization with alpha-actin, metallothionein, and antigens of the class-II major histocompatibility complex (MHC II). GFAP was also identified in rat alveolar fibroblasts which, in common with keratinocytes, form part of the air-tissue interface. GFAP was upregulated together with MHC II in nude mice but was barely detectable in the skin of non-obese diabetic severe combined immunodeficiency mice, suggesting a possible involvement in antigen-presenting functions. The intriguing distribution of a common set of antigens both in certain cells of the integumentary system and at the blood-tissue interfaces of internal organs suggests the involvement of these proteins in universal mechanisms controlling tissue homeostasis and protection.

    The Journal of investigative dermatology 2007;127;3;555-63

  • Gene expression in temporal lobe epilepsy is consistent with increased release of glutamate by astrocytes.

    Lee TS, Mane S, Eid T, Zhao H, Lin A, Guan Z, Kim JH, Schweitzer J, King-Stevens D, Weber P, Spencer SS, Spencer DD and de Lanerolle NC

    Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520-8082, USA.

    Patients with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) often have a shrunken hippocampus that is known to be the location in which seizures originate. The role of the sclerotic hippocampus in the causation and maintenance of seizures in temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) has remained incompletely understood despite extensive neuropathological investigations of this substrate. To gain new insights and develop new testable hypotheses on the role of sclerosis in the pathophysiology of TLE, the differential gene expression profile was studied. To this end, DNA microarray analysis was used to compare gene expression profiles in sclerotic and non-sclerotic hippocampi surgically removed from TLE patients. Sclerotic hippocampi had transcriptional signatures that were different from non-sclerotic hippocampi. The differentially expressed gene set in sclerotic hippocampi revealed changes in several molecular signaling pathways, which included the increased expression of genes associated with astrocyte structure (glial fibrillary acidic protein, ezrin-moesin-radixin, palladin), calcium regulation (S100 calcium binding protein beta, chemokine (C-X-C motif) receptor 4) and blood-brain barrier function (Aquaaporin 4, Chemokine (C-C- motif) ligand 2, Chemokine (C-C- motif) ligand 3, Plectin 1, intermediate filament binding protein 55kDa) and inflammatory responses. Immunohistochemical localization studies show that there is altered distribution of the gene-associated proteins in astrocytes from sclerotic foci compared with non-sclerotic foci. It is hypothesized that the astrocytes in sclerotic tissue have activated molecular pathways that could lead to enhanced release of glutamate by these cells. Such glutamate release may excite surrounding neurons and elicit seizure activity.

    Funded by: NINDS NIH HHS: R21 NS48434, R21 NS048434

    Molecular medicine (Cambridge, Mass.) 2007;13;1-2;1-13

  • The functional alteration of mutant GFAP depends on the location of the domain: morphological and functional studies using astrocytoma-derived cells.

    Yoshida T, Tomozawa Y, Arisato T, Okamoto Y, Hirano H and Nakagawa M

    Department of Neurology, Graduate School of Medical Science, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kawaramachi Hirokoji, Kajii-chou 465, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan.

    To clarify the functional effects of mutant glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), we examined the expression patterns of mutant GFAPs (V87G, R88C, and R416W) in astrocytoma-derived cells and performed migration assay. The morphological change was found in mutant GFAP cells, although the number of changes was small. On migration assay, the migration rate in cells with the V87G or R88C mutation, which are located in the helical rod domain in GFAP, was significantly higher than those of wild-type and R416W. These findings suggest that the functional abnormalities of astrocytes might be induced prior to aggregation of GFAP in Alexander disease and that the functional alteration depends on the location of the domain.

    Journal of human genetics 2007;52;4;362-9

  • Regulatory mechanisms for 3'-end alternative splicing and polyadenylation of the Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein, GFAP, transcript.

    Blechingberg J, Lykke-Andersen S, Jensen TH, Jørgensen AL and Nielsen AL

    Institute of Human Genetics, The Bartholin Building, University of Aarhus, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark.

    The glial fibrillary acidic protein, GFAP, forms the intermediate cytoskeleton in cells of the glial lineage. Besides the common GFAP alpha transcript, the GFAP epsilon and GFAP kappa transcripts are generated by alternative mRNA 3'-end processing. Here we use a GFAP minigene to characterize molecular mechanisms participating in alternative GFAP expression. Usage of a polyadenylation signal within the alternatively spliced exon 7a is essential to generate the GFAP kappa and GFAP kappa transcripts. The GFAP kappa mRNA is distinct from GFAP epsilon mRNA given that it also includes intron 7a. Polyadenylation at the exon 7a site is stimulated by the upstream splice site. Moreover, exon 7a splice enhancer motifs supported both exon 7a splicing and polyadenylation. SR proteins increased the usage of the exon 7a polyadenylation signal but not the exon 7a splicing, whereas the polypyrimidine tract binding (PTB) protein enhanced both exon 7a polyadenylation and exon 7a splicing. Finally, increasing transcription by the VP16 trans-activator did not affect the frequency of use of the exon 7a polyadenylation signal whereas the exon 7a splicing frequency was decreased. Our data suggest a model with the selection of the exon 7a polyadenylation site being the essential and primary event for regulating GFAP alternative processing.

    Nucleic acids research 2007;35;22;7636-50

  • Double immunofluorescence shows coexpression of Bcl-x with GFAP in a variety of glial lesions.

    Tan KB, Magdalene Koh HK and Tan SY

    Department of Pathology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, National University Hospital, Lower Kent Ridge Road, Singapore, 119074, Singapore. pattankb@nus.edu.sg

    Bcl-x is an important member of the bcl-2 family of proteins that has been shown to be expressed by both native nervous system tissue and several nervous system tumors. Its anti-apoptotic activity is believed to contribute to nervous system tumorigenesis. We seek to compare the staining characteristics of Bcl-x and GFAP in various neuronal and glial lesions, both neoplastic and non-neoplastic. We also use a double immunofluorescence technique to assess for coexpression of Bcl-x and GFAP by the same lesional cells. Forty cases of brain tumors and reactive brain conditions were reviewed. The former included astrocytomas, GBMs, ependymomas, oligodendrogliomas, gangliogliomas, subependymomas and neurocytomas. The latter included cases of gliosis, cerebritis and mesial temporal sclerosis. Immunohistochemistry for Bcl-x and GFAP was performed. Double immunofluorescent labeling using antibodies to both GFAP and Bcl-x was also carried out. Expression of Bcl-x closely follows that of GFAP with strong expression in both reactive astrocytes and astrocytomas. There is more focal expression in other gliomas. Immunostaining for Bcl-x is generally more intense and distinct, compared to that for GFAP. Expression of both GFAP and Bcl-x is more focal in oligodendrogliomas, with staining of mainly intervening astrocytic processes. Double immunolabelling confirms the coexpression of Bcl-x and GFAP in various gliomas and reactive brain conditions. As immunostaining for Bcl-x is generally more distinct and intense than that for GFAP, it may serve as a useful alternative to help highlight glial cells in selected diagnostic settings.

    Journal of neuro-oncology 2006;80;3;235-42

  • The immunoregulatory effects of HIV-1 Nef on dendritic cells and the pathogenesis of AIDS.

    Quaranta MG, Mattioli B, Giordani L and Viora M

    Department of Drug Research and Evaluation, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Viale Regina Elena 299, 00161 Rome, Italy.

    Dendritic cells (DC) play a crucial role in the generation and regulation of immunity, and their interaction with HIV is relevant in the pathogenesis of AIDS favoring both the initial establishment and spread of the infection and the development of antiviral immunity. HIV-1 Nef is an essential factor for efficient viral replication and pathogenesis, and several studies have been addressed to assess the possible influence of endogenous or exogenous Nef on DC biology. Our findings and other reported data described in this review demonstrate that Nef subverts DC biology interfering with phenotypical, morphological, and functional DC developmental programs, thus representing a viral tool underlying AIDS pathogenesis. This review provides an overview on the mechanism by which Nef, hijacking DC functional activity, may favor both the replication of HIV-1 and the escape from immune surveillance. Overall, the findings described here may contribute to the understanding of Nef function, mechanism of action, and cellular partners. Further elucidation of genes induced through Nef signaling in DC could reveal pathways used by DC to drive HIV spread and will be critical to identify therapeutic strategies to bias the DC system toward activation of antiviral immunity instead of facilitating virus dissemination.

    FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology 2006;20;13;2198-208

  • The Alexander disease-causing glial fibrillary acidic protein mutant, R416W, accumulates into Rosenthal fibers by a pathway that involves filament aggregation and the association of alpha B-crystallin and HSP27.

    Der Perng M, Su M, Wen SF, Li R, Gibbon T, Prescott AR, Brenner M and Quinlan RA

    School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, The University of Durham, Durham, United Kingdom.

    Here, we describe the early events in the disease pathogenesis of Alexander disease. This is a rare and usually fatal neurodegenerative disorder whose pathological hallmark is the abundance of protein aggregates in astrocytes. These aggregates, termed "Rosenthal fibers," contain the protein chaperones alpha B-crystallin and HSP27 as well as glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), an intermediate filament (IF) protein found almost exclusively in astrocytes. Heterozygous, missense GFAP mutations that usually arise spontaneously during spermatogenesis have recently been found in the majority of patients with Alexander disease. In this study, we show that one of the more frequently observed mutations, R416W, significantly perturbs in vitro filament assembly. The filamentous structures formed resemble assembly intermediates but aggregate more strongly. Consistent with the heterozygosity of the mutation, this effect is dominant over wild-type GFAP in coassembly experiments. Transient transfection studies demonstrate that R416W GFAP induces the formation of GFAP-containing cytoplasmic aggregates in a wide range of different cell types, including astrocytes. The aggregates have several important features in common with Rosenthal fibers, including the association of alpha B-crystallin and HSP27. This association occurs simultaneously with the formation of protein aggregates containing R416W GFAP and is also specific, since HSP70 does not partition with them. Monoclonal antibodies specific for R416W GFAP reveal, for the first time for any IF-based disease, the presence of the mutant protein in the characteristic histopathological feature of the disease, namely Rosenthal fibers. Collectively, these data confirm that the effects of the R416W GFAP are dominant, changing the assembly process in a way that encourages aberrant filament-filament interactions that then lead to protein aggregation and chaperone sequestration as early events in Alexander disease.

    Funded by: NINDS NIH HHS: P01 NS042803, P01 NS042803-010004, P01NS42803

    American journal of human genetics 2006;79;2;197-213

  • Early identification of secondary brain damage in subarachnoid hemorrhage: a role for glial fibrillary acidic protein.

    Petzold A, Keir G, Kerr M, Kay A, Kitchen N, Smith M and Thompson EJ

    Department of Neuroimmunology, Institute of Neurology, University College London, London, United Kingdom. a.petzold@ion.ucl.ac.uk

    Secondary ischaemic deficit adversely affects outcome in patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). Astrocytes are vulnerable to ischemia, releasing glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) when challenged. In this study, we followed nine patients with SAH who underwent extra-ventricular drainage for the management of secondary hydrocephalus. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) was collected daily for up to 14 days. CSF GFAP was quantified using a standard ELISA. In the patients, we found that the CSF GFAP values were pathologically elevated in 83/89 (93%) of the CSF samples. The levels were highest on day 1 (median = 47.64 ng/mL) and decreased to 11.19 ng/mL on day 3, leveling out at approximately 1 ng/mL after 10 days. In non-survivors, a secondary rise of GFAP levels became significant during the high-risk period for vasospasm, with median levels of 21.76 ng/mL compared to 2.62 ng/mL in the survivors (p = 0.037) on day 6. This study suggests that CSF GFAP levels are of prognostic value in SAH. Additionally, the difference in the slope of GFAP levels between survivors (rapid wash-out) and non-survivors (secondary peaks) may allow difierentiation between primary brain injury from secondary brain damage due to delayed cerebral ischaemia.

    Funded by: NINR NIH HHS: R01NR0433

    Journal of neurotrauma 2006;23;7;1179-84

  • Nuclear factor-1-X regulates astrocyte-specific expression of the alpha1-antichymotrypsin and glial fibrillary acidic protein genes.

    Gopalan SM, Wilczynska KM, Konik BS, Bryan L and Kordula T

    Department of Biochemistry, Medical College of Virginia Campus, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia 23298, USA.

    Discrete tissue-specific changes in chromatin structure of the distal serpin subcluster on human chromosome 14q32.1 allow a single gene encoding alpha1-antichymotrypsin (ACT) to be expressed in astrocytes and glioma cells. This astrocyte-specific regulation involves activatory protein-1 (AP-1) because overexpression of dominant-negative c-jun(TAM67) abolishes ACT expression in glioma cells. Here we identify a new regulatory element, located within the -13-kb enhancer of the ACT gene, that binds nuclear factor-1 (NFI) and is indispensable for the full basal transcriptional activity of the ACT gene. Furthermore, down-regulation of NFI expression by siRNA abolishes basal ACT expression in glioma cells. However, NFI does not mediate astrocyte-specific expression by itself, but likely cooperates with AP-1. A detailed analysis of the 14-kb long 5'-flanking region of the ACT gene indicated the presence of adjacent NFI and AP-1 elements that colocalized with DNase I-hypersensitive sites found in astrocytes and glioma cells. Interestingly, knock-down of NFI expression also specifically abrogates the expression of glial acidic fibrillary protein (GFAP), which is an astrocyte-specific marker protein. Mutations introduced into putative NFI and AP-1 elements within the 5'-flanking region of the GFAP gene also diminished basal expression of the reporter. In addition, we found, using isoform-specific siRNAs, that NFI-X regulates the astrocyte-specific expression of ACT and GFAP. We propose that NFI-X cooperates with AP-1 by an unknown mechanism in astrocytes, which results in the expression of a subset of astrocyte-specific genes.

    Funded by: NINDS NIH HHS: NS044118

    The Journal of biological chemistry 2006;281;19;13126-33

  • GFAP-positive progenitor cells produce neurons and oligodendrocytes throughout the CNS.

    Casper KB and McCarthy KD

    CB 7365, Department of Pharmacology, UNC-CH, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.

    Once thought to merely act as scaffolds in neuronal migration, recent evidence suggests that radial glia may serve as progenitors for the majority of neurons in the CNS. Cre/loxP fate-mapping experiments were carried out using a fragment of a glial-specific promoter (glial fibrillary acidic protein; GFAP) to drive expression of Cre recombinase. We show that GFAP+ progenitor cells give rise to neurons and oligodendrocytes throughout the CNS. We find very little regional heterogeneity in the neurogenic potential of radial glia between dorsal and ventral telencephalon. Additionally, radial glia serve as precursors for subpopulations of interneurons in the ventral telencephalon. Interestingly, the human GFAP promoter but not the mouse GFAP promoter is active in oligodendrocyte progenitor cells. We also demonstrate that the most commonly used Cre reporter lines are very inefficient in detecting Cre-dependent recombination in astrocytes and describe a new Cre reporter line for assessing recombination in astrocytes.

    Funded by: NINDS NIH HHS: R01 NS020212-20, R01 NS033938-06

    Molecular and cellular neurosciences 2006;31;4;676-84

  • An infantile-juvenile form of Alexander disease caused by a R79H mutation in GFAP.

    Asahina N, Okamoto T, Sudo A, Kanazawa N, Tsujino S and Saitoh S

    Department of Pediatrics, Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, Kita 15, Nishi 7, Kita-ku, Sapporo 060-8638, Japan.

    Alexander disease is a degenerative white matter disorder due to mutations in the glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) gene. It has been classified into three forms based on the age of onset and severity: an infantile, a juvenile, and an adult form. In a 6-year-old patient with a relatively mild form of Alexander disease, we detected a common R79H mutation in GFAP, previously only described in the infantile form. These results suggest the need for further studies of the genotype-phenotype correlation.

    Brain & development 2006;28;2;131-3

  • Caspase-mediated cleavage of glial fibrillary acidic protein within degenerating astrocytes of the Alzheimer's disease brain.

    Mouser PE, Head E, Ha KH and Rohn TT

    Department of Biology, Boise State University, Boise, ID 83725, USA.

    Recent studies demonstrate roles for activation of caspases and cleavage of cellular proteins within neurons of the Alzheimer's disease (AD) brain. To determine whether a similar role for caspases also occurs within glial cells in AD, we designed a site-directed caspase-cleavage antibody specific to glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), a cytoskeleton protein specifically expressed in astrocytes. In vitro characterization of this antibody using both a cell-free system and a cell model system of apoptosis demonstrated that the antibody (termed GFAP caspase-cleavage product antibody or GFAP-CCP Ab) immunolabeled the predicted caspase-cleavage fragment, but not full-length GFAP, by Western blot analysis. To determine whether caspases cleave GFAP in vivo, tissue sections from control and AD brains were examined by immunohistochemistry using the GFAP-CCP Ab. Two prominent features of staining were evident: immunolabeling of degenerating astrocytes in proximity to blood vessels and staining within plaque-rich regions of the AD brain. Furthermore, co-localization of the GFAP-CCP Ab and an antibody specific to active caspase-3 was demonstrated within damaged astrocytes of the AD brain. These data suggest that the activation of caspases and cleavage of cellular proteins such as GFAP may contribute to astrocyte injury and damage in the AD brain.

    Funded by: NCRR NIH HHS: P20 RR016454, P20RR016454; NIA NIH HHS: P50 AG016573, P50 AG16573

    The American journal of pathology 2006;168;3;936-46

  • Plectin regulates the organization of glial fibrillary acidic protein in Alexander disease.

    Tian R, Gregor M, Wiche G and Goldman JE

    Department of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics, Columbia University, New York, New York 10032, USA.

    Alexander disease (AxD) is a rare but fatal neurological disorder caused by mutations in the astrocyte-specific intermediate filament protein glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). Histologically, AxD is characterized by cytoplasmic inclusion bodies called Rosenthal fibers (RFs), which contain GFAP, small heat shock proteins, and other undefined components. Here, we describe the expression of the cytoskeletal linker protein plectin in the AxD brain. RFs displayed positive immunostaining for plectin and GFAP, both of which were increased in the AxD brain. Co-localization, co-immunoprecipitation, and in vitro overlay analyses demonstrated direct interaction of plectin and GFAP. GFAP with the most common AxD mutation, R239C (RC GFAP), mainly formed abnormal aggregates in human primary astrocytes and murine plectin-deficient fibroblasts. Transient transfection of full-length plectin cDNA converted these aggregates to thin filaments, which exhibited diffuse cytoplasmic distribution. Compared to wild-type GFAP expression, RC GFAP expression lowered plectin levels in astrocytoma-derived stable transfectants and plectin-positive fibroblasts. A much higher proportion of total GFAP was found in the Triton X-insoluble fraction of plectin-deficient fibroblasts than in wild-type fibroblasts. Taken together, our results suggest that insufficient amounts of plectin, due to RC GFAP expression, promote GFAP aggregation and RF formation in AxD.

    Funded by: NINDS NIH HHS: NS42803, P01 NS042803

    The American journal of pathology 2006;168;3;888-97

  • Astrocyte-specific expression of the alpha1-antichymotrypsin and glial fibrillary acidic protein genes requires activator protein-1.

    Gopalan SM, Wilczynska KM, Konik BS, Bryan L and Kordula T

    Department of Biochemistry, Medical College of Virginia Campus, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23298, USA.

    An amyloid-associated serine proteinase inhibitor (serpin), alpha(1)-antichymotrypsin (ACT), is encoded by a gene located within the distal serpin subcluster on human chromosome 14q32.1. The expression of these distal serpin genes is determined by tissue-specific chromatin structures that allow their ubiquitous expression in hepatocytes; however, their expression is limited to a single ACT gene in astrocytes. In astrocytes and glioma cells, six specific DNase I-hypersensitive sites (DHSs) were found located exclusively in the 5'-flanking region of the ACT gene. We identified two enhancers that mapped to the two DHSs at -13 kb and -11.5 kb which contain activator protein-1 (AP-1) binding sites, both of which are critical for basal astrocyte-specific expression of ACT reporters. In vivo, these elements are occupied by c-jun homodimers in unstimulated cells and c-jun/c-fos heterodimers in interleukin-1-treated cells. Moreover, functional c-jun is required for the expression of ACT in glioma cells because both transient and stable inducible overexpression of dominant-negative c-jun(TAM67) specifically abrogates basal and reduces cytokine-induced expression of ACT. Expression-associated methylation of lysine 4 of histone H3 was also lost in these cells, but the DHS distribution pattern and global histone acetylation were not changed upstream of the ACT locus. Interestingly, functional AP-1 is also indispensable for the expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), which is an astrocyte-specific marker. We propose that AP-1 is a key transcription factor that, in part, controls astrocyte-specific expression of genes including the ACT and GFAP genes.

    The Journal of biological chemistry 2006;281;4;1956-63

  • Diversification of transcriptional modulation: large-scale identification and characterization of putative alternative promoters of human genes.

    Kimura K, Wakamatsu A, Suzuki Y, Ota T, Nishikawa T, Yamashita R, Yamamoto J, Sekine M, Tsuritani K, Wakaguri H, Ishii S, Sugiyama T, Saito K, Isono Y, Irie R, Kushida N, Yoneyama T, Otsuka R, Kanda K, Yokoi T, Kondo H, Wagatsuma M, Murakawa K, Ishida S, Ishibashi T, Takahashi-Fujii A, Tanase T, Nagai K, Kikuchi H, Nakai K, Isogai T and Sugano S

    Life Science Research Laboratory, Central Research Laboratory, Hitachi, Ltd., Kokubunji, Tokyo, 185-8601, Japan.

    By analyzing 1,780,295 5'-end sequences of human full-length cDNAs derived from 164 kinds of oligo-cap cDNA libraries, we identified 269,774 independent positions of transcriptional start sites (TSSs) for 14,628 human RefSeq genes. These TSSs were clustered into 30,964 clusters that were separated from each other by more than 500 bp and thus are very likely to constitute mutually distinct alternative promoters. To our surprise, at least 7674 (52%) human RefSeq genes were subject to regulation by putative alternative promoters (PAPs). On average, there were 3.1 PAPs per gene, with the composition of one CpG-island-containing promoter per 2.6 CpG-less promoters. In 17% of the PAP-containing loci, tissue-specific use of the PAPs was observed. The richest tissue sources of the tissue-specific PAPs were testis and brain. It was also intriguing that the PAP-containing promoters were enriched in the genes encoding signal transduction-related proteins and were rarer in the genes encoding extracellular proteins, possibly reflecting the varied functional requirement for and the restricted expression of those categories of genes, respectively. The patterns of the first exons were highly diverse as well. On average, there were 7.7 different splicing types of first exons per locus partly produced by the PAPs, suggesting that a wide variety of transcripts can be achieved by this mechanism. Our findings suggest that use of alternate promoters and consequent alternative use of first exons should play a pivotal role in generating the complexity required for the highly elaborated molecular systems in humans.

    Genome research 2006;16;1;55-65

  • Novel mutation of gene coding for glial fibrillary acidic protein in a Japanese patient with Alexander disease.

    Kawai M, Sakai N, Miyake S, Tsukamoto H, Akagi M, Inui K, Mushiake S, Taniike M and Ozono K

    Department of Developmental Medicine, Pediatrics, D-5 Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, 2-2 Yamadaoka Suita, Osaka, Japan.

    We report the mutation analysis of a Japanese patient diagnosed with infantile-type Alexander disease. The genetic analysis revealed a new missense mutation, an A to G transition at nucleotide position 1026 in exon 6, leading to the substitution of glycine for glutamic acid at amino acid position 371(E371G). This mutation was not detected in 50 Japanese controls using denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography.

    Brain & development 2006;28;1;60-2

  • Proteomic analysis of glial fibrillary acidic protein in Alzheimer's disease and aging brain.

    Korolainen MA, Auriola S, Nyman TA, Alafuzoff I and Pirttilä T

    Department of Neuroscience and Neurology, University of Kuopio, Harjulantie 1D, P.O. Box 1627, FIN-70211 Kuopio, Finland. Minna.Korolainen@uku.fi

    Chronic inflammation is known to play an important role in the heterogeneous pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Activated astrocytes expressing glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) are closely associated with AD pathology, such as tangles, neuritic plaques and amyloid depositions. Altogether, 46 soluble isoforms of GFAP were separated and most of them quantified by two-dimensional immunoblotting in frontal cortices of AD patients and age-matched controls. A 60% increase in the amount of more acidic isoforms of GFAP was observed in AD and these isoforms were both phosphorylated and N-glycosylated, while more basic isoforms were O-glycosylated and exhibited no quantitative differences between post-mortem AD and control brains. These data highlight the importance of exploring isoform-specific levels of proteins in pathophysiological conditions since modifications of proteins determine their activity state, localization, turnover and interaction with other molecules. Mechanisms, structures and functional consequences of modification of GFAP isoforms remain to be clarified.

    Neurobiology of disease 2005;20;3;858-70

  • Study of effects of antiglaucoma eye drops on N-methyl-D-aspartate-induced retinal damage.

    Metoki T, Ohguro H, Ohguro I, Mamiya K, Ito T and Nakazawa M

    Department of Ophthalmology, Hirosaki University School of Medicine, Hirosaki, Japan.

    Purpose: To study the effects of antiglaucoma eye drops on N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-induced retinal damage.

    Methods: Several antiglaucoma eye drops, beta-blockers, alpha/beta-blockers, an alpha1-blocker, an alpha2-agonist, and a prostaglandin derivative, were topically administrated to NMDA-treated rat eyes daily for 2 weeks, and the retinal thickness, the number of retrograde-labeled retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), and the results of a cDNA microarray analysis were studied.

    Results: Intravitreal administration of NMDA caused a significant decrease in the thickness of the retinal layers and induced upregulation of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). Topical administration of beta-blockers (timolol, betaxolol, and carteolol) and a prostaglandin derivative (latanoprost) showed almost no significant effects on retinal thickness, the number of RGCs, or expression of GFAP. In contrast, the alpha/beta-blockers (nipradilol and levobunolol), the alpha1-blocker (bunazosin HCl), and the alpha2-agonist (brimonidine) showed preservation effects on retinal thickness and the number of RGCs, and marked suppression of NMDA-induced upregulation of GFAP. Among 1101 genes related to cellular regulatory mechanisms, the expression of two genes, both for insulin-like growth factors, (IGF-1) and ErbB3, was altered upon administration of the alpha/beta-blockers, the alpha1-blocker, and the alpha2-agonist.

    Conclusion: Our present study suggests that modulations of the alpha-adrenergic receptor, alpha1-blocking and alpha2-stimulation, by antiglaucoma eye drops may cause beneficial effects on NMDA-induced retinal damage in the rat.

    Japanese journal of ophthalmology 2005;49;6;453-461

  • Towards a proteome-scale map of the human protein-protein interaction network.

    Rual JF, Venkatesan K, Hao T, Hirozane-Kishikawa T, Dricot A, Li N, Berriz GF, Gibbons FD, Dreze M, Ayivi-Guedehoussou N, Klitgord N, Simon C, Boxem M, Milstein S, Rosenberg J, Goldberg DS, Zhang LV, Wong SL, Franklin G, Li S, Albala JS, Lim J, Fraughton C, Llamosas E, Cevik S, Bex C, Lamesch P, Sikorski RS, Vandenhaute J, Zoghbi HY, Smolyar A, Bosak S, Sequerra R, Doucette-Stamm L, Cusick ME, Hill DE, Roth FP and Vidal M

    Center for Cancer Systems Biology and Department of Cancer Biology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, 44 Binney Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.

    Systematic mapping of protein-protein interactions, or 'interactome' mapping, was initiated in model organisms, starting with defined biological processes and then expanding to the scale of the proteome. Although far from complete, such maps have revealed global topological and dynamic features of interactome networks that relate to known biological properties, suggesting that a human interactome map will provide insight into development and disease mechanisms at a systems level. Here we describe an initial version of a proteome-scale map of human binary protein-protein interactions. Using a stringent, high-throughput yeast two-hybrid system, we tested pairwise interactions among the products of approximately 8,100 currently available Gateway-cloned open reading frames and detected approximately 2,800 interactions. This data set, called CCSB-HI1, has a verification rate of approximately 78% as revealed by an independent co-affinity purification assay, and correlates significantly with other biological attributes. The CCSB-HI1 data set increases by approximately 70% the set of available binary interactions within the tested space and reveals more than 300 new connections to over 100 disease-associated proteins. This work represents an important step towards a systematic and comprehensive human interactome project.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: R33 CA132073; NHGRI NIH HHS: P50 HG004233, R01 HG001715, RC4 HG006066, U01 HG001715; NHLBI NIH HHS: U01 HL098166

    Nature 2005;437;7062;1173-8

  • Increased levels of GFAP in the cerebrospinal fluid in three subtypes of genetically confirmed Alexander disease.

    Kyllerman M, Rosengren L, Wiklund LM and Holmberg E

    Department of Paediatric Neurology, Queen Silvia Children's Hospital, Göteborg, Sweden. marten.kyllerman@vgregion.se

    GFAP levels in the CSF were highly elevated in three genetically confirmed cases of Alexander disease clinically conforming with infantile, early and late juvenile forms. No other CSF abnormalities were detected. Assay of CSF-GFAP may prove to be a rapid and cost-effective screening test in clinical variants of Alexander disease and an indicator of GFAP gene mutations.

    Neuropediatrics 2005;36;5;319-23

  • Rearrangements of the intermediate filament GFAP in primary human schwannoma cells.

    Utermark T, Schubert SJ and Hanemann CO

    Department of Neurology, Zentrum für klinische Forschung, University of Ulm, Helmholtzstr. 8/1, 89081 Ulm, Germany.

    Loss of the tumor suppressor protein merlin causes a variety of benign tumors such as schwannomas, meningiomas, and gliomas in man. We previously reported primary human schwannoma cells to show enhanced integrin-dependent adhesion and a hyperactivation of the small RhoGTPase Rac1. Here we show that the main intermediate filament protein of Schwann cells, the glial fibrillary acidic protein, is collapsed to the perinuclear region instead of being well-spread from the nucleus to the cell periphery. This cytoskeletal reorganization is accompanied by changes in cell shape and increased cell motility. Moreover, we report tyrosine phosphorylation to be enhanced in schwannoma cells, already described earlier in intermediate filament breakdown. Thus, we believe that Rac activation via tyrosine kinase stimulation leads to GFAP collapse in human schwannoma cells, and suggest that this process plays an important role in vivo where schwannoma cells become motile, unspecifically ensheathing extracellular matrix and forming pseudomesaxons.

    Neurobiology of disease 2005;19;1-2;1-9

  • Differentiation of insulin-producing cells from human neural progenitor cells.

    Hori Y, Gu X, Xie X and Kim SK

    Department of Developmental Biology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California, USA.

    Background: Success in islet-transplantation-based therapies for type 1 diabetes, coupled with a worldwide shortage of transplant-ready islets, has motivated efforts to develop renewable sources of islet-replacement tissue. Islets and neurons share features, including common developmental programs, and in some species brain neurons are the principal source of systemic insulin.

    Here we show that brain-derived human neural progenitor cells, exposed to a series of signals that regulate in vivo pancreatic islet development, form clusters of glucose-responsive insulin-producing cells (IPCs). During in vitro differentiation of neural progenitor cells with this novel method, genes encoding essential known in vivo regulators of pancreatic islet development were expressed. Following transplantation into immunocompromised mice, IPCs released insulin C-peptide upon glucose challenge, remained differentiated, and did not form detectable tumors.

    Conclusion: Production of IPCs solely through extracellular factor modulation in the absence of genetic manipulations may promote strategies to derive transplantable islet-replacement tissues from human neural progenitor cells and other types of multipotent human stem cells.

    PLoS medicine 2005;2;4;e103

  • Glial fibrillary acidic protein mutations in infantile, juvenile, and adult forms of Alexander disease.

    Li R, Johnson AB, Salomons G, Goldman JE, Naidu S, Quinlan R, Cree B, Ruyle SZ, Banwell B, D'Hooghe M, Siebert JR, Rolf CM, Cox H, Reddy A, Gutiérrez-Solana LG, Collins A, Weller RO, Messing A, van der Knaap MS and Brenner M

    Department of Neurobiology and Civitan International Research Center, University of Alabama-Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, USA.

    Alexander disease is a progressive, usually fatal neurological disorder defined by the widespread and abundant presence in astrocytes of protein aggregates called Rosenthal fibers. The disease most often occurs in infants younger than 2 years and has been labeled a leukodystrophy because of an accompanying severe myelin deficit in the frontal lobes. Later onset forms have also been recognized based on the presence of abundant Rosenthal fibers. In these cases, clinical signs and pathology can be quite different from the infantile form, raising the question whether they share the same underlying cause. Recently, we and others have found pathogenic, de novo missense mutations in the glial fibrillary acidic protein gene in most infantile patients examined and in a few later onset patients. To obtain further information about the role of glial fibrillary acidic protein mutations in Alexander disease, we analyzed 41 new patients and another 3 previously described clinically, including 18 later onset patients. Our results show that dominant missense glial fibrillary acidic protein mutations account for nearly all forms of this disorder. They also significantly expand the catalog of responsible mutations, verify the value of magnetic resonance imaging diagnosis, indicate an unexpected male predominance for the juvenile form, and provide insights into phenotype-genotype relations.

    Funded by: NICHD NIH HHS: N01 HD 43368, N01 HD 83284, P30 HD 38985; NINDS NIH HHS: P01 NS 42803, R01 NS 39055

    Annals of neurology 2005;57;3;310-26

  • Glial fibrillary acidic protein is elevated in superior frontal, parietal and cerebellar cortices of autistic subjects.

    Laurence JA and Fatemi SH

    Division of Neuroscience Research, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, MN, USA.

    Autism is a debilitating neurodevelopmental disorder of early childhood with both genetic and environmental origins. Immune system dysregulation has been hypothesized to be involved in this disorder. We quantified levels of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and ss-actin in three areas of the brain, namely, area 9, area 40 and cerebellum, in age matched autistic and control postmortem specimen using SDS-PAGE and western blotting techniques. Significant elevations in levels of GFAP were observed in all three brain areas in autism. This report confirms a recent report showing microglial and astroglial activation in autism. Increased GFAP levels in autistic brains signify gliosis, reactive injury, and perturbed neuronal migration processes.

    Cerebellum (London, England) 2005;4;3;206-10

  • Glial fibrillary acidic protein mRNA levels in the cingulate cortex of individuals with depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

    Webster MJ, O'Grady J, Kleinman JE and Weickert CS

    Stanley Lab of Brain Research, Department of Psychiatry, Uniformed Services University for the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD 20814-4799, USA. webstrm@stanleyresearch.org

    Recent studies have shown a decrease in glial number and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) levels in the frontal and cingulate cortices of individuals with mood disorders and schizophrenia. In an attempt to verify and expand these findings we examined GFAP messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) levels in postmortem sections of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) from the Stanley Neuropathology Consortium (SNC). The consortium consists of 15 cases in each of four groups (schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, non-psychotic depression and unaffected controls). By in situ hybridization, we found higher levels of GFAP mRNA in white matter and at the pial surface as compared with gray matter levels in all cases. In the white matter of ACC we detected a significant effect of diagnosis (P<0.04) with GFAP mRNA levels decreased in individuals with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder as compared with normal controls. In the gray matter there was a significant effect of layer (P<0.01) with the highest levels of GFAP mRNA in layer VI in all groups. As in the white matter, the mean GFAP mRNA levels were decreased in individuals with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder as compared with the unaffected controls, however the difference failed to reach statistical significance. Thus, astrocytes positive for GFAP may contribute to the decrease in glial density previously described in subjects with major mental illness, however the relative contribution of astrocytes may vary with diagnosis.

    Neuroscience 2005;133;2;453-61

  • Age-dependent reductions in the level of glial fibrillary acidic protein in the prefrontal cortex in major depression.

    Si X, Miguel-Hidalgo JJ, O'Dwyer G, Stockmeier CA and Rajkowska G

    Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS, USA.

    The density of glial cells is reduced in certain layers of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in major depressive disorder (MDD). Moreover, there are reductions in the packing density of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) immunoreactive astrocytes in the same cortical layers in younger subjects with MDD. The objective of the present study was to test if the level of GFAP is preferentially decreased in younger subjects with MDD, and whether GFAP levels are correlated with the age of onset of depression. Post-mortem brain tissue punches from dorsolateral prefrontal cortex were collected from 15 subjects with MDD and 15 age-matched psychiatrically normal control subjects. Western blots were performed on gels containing duplicated samples from both subjects of each matched pair, and on gels containing samples at different ages from either the MDD or the control group. The GFAP level was calculated as the ratio of the optical density of GFAP bands to actin bands in subjects with MDD and nonpsychiatric controls. Levels of GFAP were significantly lower in subjects with MDD as compared to controls and this decrease was most prominent in subjects less than 60 years old at the time of death. In the MDD group, GFAP levels were positively correlated with age at the time of death and show a trend toward correlation with the age of onset of depression. These findings indicate that a decrease in levels of GFAP may contribute to the pathophysiology of MDD, particularly in subjects of relatively young age.

    Funded by: NCRR NIH HHS: P20 RR017701, P20 RR017701-06; NIMH NIH HHS: MH60451, MH61578, MH63187, P50 MH060451, P50 MH060451-04, R01 MH061578, R01 MH061578-01A1, R01 MH063187, R01 MH063187-03

    Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology 2004;29;11;2088-96

  • Astrocyte activation and dysfunction and neuron death by HIV-1 Tat expression in astrocytes.

    Zhou BY, Liu Y, Kim Bo, Xiao Y and He JJ

    Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA.

    Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) Tat protein plays an important role in HIV-associated neuropathogenesis. Astrocytosis and neuron death are two hallmarks of HIV-1 infection of the central nervous system (CNS). However, whether there is a direct link between Tat expression, astrocytosis and subsequent neuron death is not known. In this study, we expressed Tat in astrocytes and examined Tat effects on astrocyte function and subsequent neuronal survival. The results showed that Tat expression resulted in a significant increase in glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) expression, a cellular marker of astrocyte activation or astrocytosis. The GFAP promoter-driven reporter gene assay showed that Tat transactivated GFAP expression at the transcriptional level. Furthermore, Tat expression markedly impaired glutamate uptake by astrocytes. Importantly, cell culture supernatants from Tat-expressing astrocytes induced dramatic neuron death. Taken together, these data provide evidence for the first time to directly link Tat expression in astrocytes to astrocytosis, astrocyte dysfunction, and subsequent neuron death. In addition, these data suggest that astrocyte dysfunction contributes, at least in part, to Tat neurotoxicity and subsequently HIV-associated neuropathogenesis.

    Funded by: NIMH NIH HHS: R01MH65158; NINDS NIH HHS: R01NS39804

    Molecular and cellular neurosciences 2004;27;3;296-305

  • Asymptomatic hereditary Alexander's disease caused by a novel mutation in GFAP.

    Shiihara T, Sawaishi Y, Adachi M, Kato M and Hayasaka K

    Department of Pediatrics, Yamagata University School of Medicine, 2-2-2 Iida-nishi, Yamagata 990-9585, Japan. shiihara@med.id.yamagata-u.ac.jp

    We report on a family with dominantly inherited asymptomatic Alexander's disease due to a novel Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) mutation. The proband, a 16-month-old boy, presented with megalocephaly and brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showing the typical findings of Alexander's disease. Molecular analysis showed that he was a heterozygote of the L331P mutation of GFAP. His mother and sister, without megalocephaly or other neurological abnormalities, were also heterozygotes of the mutation and their brain magnetic resonance imaging showed mild changes in the caudates and deep frontal white matters. These results suggest the existence of a forme fruste of Alexander's disease. The L331P mutation may be associated with the mild phenotype of Alexander's disease. To elucidate the genotype-phenotype correlation in Alexander's disease, molecular diagnosis and MRI examination are required for many patients and their families.

    Journal of the neurological sciences 2004;225;1-2;125-7

  • Juvenile form of Alexander disease with GFAP mutation and mitochondrial abnormality.

    Nobuhara Y, Nakahara K, Higuchi I, Yoshida T, Fushiki S, Osame M, Arimura K and Nakagawa M

    Department of Neurology and Gerontology, Kagoshima University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Japan.

    The authors report a 29-year-old woman with marked atrophy of the cerebellum, medulla oblongata, and spinal cord, dementia, diffuse white matter abnormality on MRI, ragged-red fibers, and R88C mutation in the human glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). Mitochondria DNA (mtDNA) analysis showed a rare polymorphism at A8291G. This mtDNA polymorphism, which has been associated with limb-girdle type mitochondrial myopathy, may modify the clinical symptoms of this juvenile form of Alexander disease with GFAP mutation.

    Neurology 2004;63;7;1302-4

  • Self-assembly of the cytoskeletal glial fibrillary acidic protein is inhibited by an isoform-specific C terminus.

    Nielsen AL and Jørgensen AL

    Department of Human Genetics, Bartholin Building, University of Aarhus, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark. aln@humgen.au.dk

    The predominant isoform of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), GFAPalpha, is the characteristic building block of the cytoskeletal intermediate filaments in astrocytes. Isoform GFAPepsilon, produced by alternative splicing of the GFAP gene, includes a new tail domain that confers a presenilin binding capacity. We here show that the GFAPepsilon tail prevents GFAPepsilon homodimerization and homomeric filament formation, whereas the ability to form heterodimers and filaments with GFAPalpha is retained. Furthermore, GFAPepsilon shows decreased affinity for several GFAPalpha-interacting proteins. A GFAPepsilon tail mutation that results in gain of GFAPepsilon dimerization and filament formation abolishes presenilin binding. This mutation also abolishes interaction between the tail and the coiled-coil domain of GFAPepsilon. Together, this indicates that direct interaction between the coiled-coil and tail domains may serve as an inhibitory mechanism for homomeric dimerization and filament formation. We propose that the GFAPepsilon isoform represents a new functionally distinct component of GFAP intermediate filaments.

    The Journal of biological chemistry 2004;279;40;41537-45

  • The status, quality, and expansion of the NIH full-length cDNA project: the Mammalian Gene Collection (MGC).

    Gerhard DS, Wagner L, Feingold EA, Shenmen CM, Grouse LH, Schuler G, Klein SL, Old S, Rasooly R, Good P, Guyer M, Peck AM, Derge JG, Lipman D, Collins FS, Jang W, Sherry S, Feolo M, Misquitta L, Lee E, Rotmistrovsky K, Greenhut SF, Schaefer CF, Buetow K, Bonner TI, Haussler D, Kent J, Kiekhaus M, Furey T, Brent M, Prange C, Schreiber K, Shapiro N, Bhat NK, Hopkins RF, Hsie F, Driscoll T, Soares MB, Casavant TL, Scheetz TE, Brown-stein MJ, Usdin TB, Toshiyuki S, Carninci P, Piao Y, Dudekula DB, Ko MS, Kawakami K, Suzuki Y, Sugano S, Gruber CE, Smith MR, Simmons B, Moore T, Waterman R, Johnson SL, Ruan Y, Wei CL, Mathavan S, Gunaratne PH, Wu J, Garcia AM, Hulyk SW, Fuh E, Yuan Y, Sneed A, Kowis C, Hodgson A, Muzny DM, McPherson J, Gibbs RA, Fahey J, Helton E, Ketteman M, Madan A, Rodrigues S, Sanchez A, Whiting M, Madari A, Young AC, Wetherby KD, Granite SJ, Kwong PN, Brinkley CP, Pearson RL, Bouffard GG, Blakesly RW, Green ED, Dickson MC, Rodriguez AC, Grimwood J, Schmutz J, Myers RM, Butterfield YS, Griffith M, Griffith OL, Krzywinski MI, Liao N, Morin R, Morrin R, Palmquist D, Petrescu AS, Skalska U, Smailus DE, Stott JM, Schnerch A, Schein JE, Jones SJ, Holt RA, Baross A, Marra MA, Clifton S, Makowski KA, Bosak S, Malek J and MGC Project Team

    The National Institutes of Health's Mammalian Gene Collection (MGC) project was designed to generate and sequence a publicly accessible cDNA resource containing a complete open reading frame (ORF) for every human and mouse gene. The project initially used a random strategy to select clones from a large number of cDNA libraries from diverse tissues. Candidate clones were chosen based on 5'-EST sequences, and then fully sequenced to high accuracy and analyzed by algorithms developed for this project. Currently, more than 11,000 human and 10,000 mouse genes are represented in MGC by at least one clone with a full ORF. The random selection approach is now reaching a saturation point, and a transition to protocols targeted at the missing transcripts is now required to complete the mouse and human collections. Comparison of the sequence of the MGC clones to reference genome sequences reveals that most cDNA clones are of very high sequence quality, although it is likely that some cDNAs may carry missense variants as a consequence of experimental artifact, such as PCR, cloning, or reverse transcriptase errors. Recently, a rat cDNA component was added to the project, and ongoing frog (Xenopus) and zebrafish (Danio) cDNA projects were expanded to take advantage of the high-throughput MGC pipeline.

    Funded by: PHS HHS: N01-C0-12400

    Genome research 2004;14;10B;2121-7

  • Glial fibrillary acidic protein is reduced in cerebellum of subjects with major depression, but not schizophrenia.

    Fatemi SH, Laurence JA, Araghi-Niknam M, Stary JM, Schulz SC, Lee S and Gottesman II

    Division of Neuroscience Research, Department of Psychiatry, University of Minnesota Medical School, MMC 392, Delaware Street 420, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA. fatem002@umn.edu

    Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) is a major protein of astrocyte intermediate filaments and a specific marker for astrocytes. Alterations in levels of GFAP may reflect pathological regulation of neuronal function and survival as well as abnormal synaptogenesis and neurotransmission. We employed quantitative gel electrophoresis and Western blotting to measure levels of GFAP in cerebella of 60 subjects divided equally among schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, and normal controls. GFAP levels were reduced by 32%, 17% and 14.5% in depressed, bipolar, and schizophrenic cerebella, respectively, versus controls. Only the depressed value was significantly different (p=0.015 Post-hoc Bonferroni test). Measurement of beta-actin levels showed no differences between the various groups. No significant effects of confounding variables were found. This is the first demonstration of GFAP reductions in cerebellum of subjects with mood disorders and schizophrenia, thereby adding to the reports of reductions in GFAP/glial cell counts in other brain regions of subjects with major depression, thus suggesting a downregulation of glial function in this disorder.

    Schizophrenia research 2004;69;2-3;317-23

  • Antioxidant protection from HIV-1 gp120-induced neuroglial toxicity.

    Walsh KA, Megyesi JF, Wilson JX, Crukley J, Laubach VE and Hammond RR

    Department of Pathology, London Health Sciences Centre, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada. rhammond@uwo.ca

    BACKGROUND: The pathogenesis of HIV-1 glycoprotein 120 (gp120) associated neuroglial toxicity remains unresolved, but oxidative injury has been widely implicated as a contributing factor. In previous studies, exposure of primary human central nervous system tissue cultures to gp120 led to a simplification of neuronal dendritic elements as well as astrocytic hypertrophy and hyperplasia; neuropathological features of HIV-1-associated dementia. Gp120 and proinflammatory cytokines upregulate inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), an important source of nitric oxide (NO) and nitrosative stress. Because ascorbate scavenges reactive nitrogen and oxygen species, we studied the effect of ascorbate supplementation on iNOS expression as well as the neuronal and glial structural changes associated with gp120 exposure. METHODS: Human CNS cultures were derived from 16-18 week gestation post-mortem fetal brain. Cultures were incubated with 400 microM ascorbate-2-O-phosphate (Asc-p) or vehicle for 18 hours then exposed to 1 nM gp120 for 24 hours. The expression of iNOS and neuronal (MAP2) and astrocytic (GFAP) structural proteins was examined by immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence using confocal scanning laser microscopy (CSLM). RESULTS: Following gp120 exposure iNOS was markedly upregulated from undetectable levels at baseline. Double label CSLM studies revealed astrocytes to be the prime source of iNOS with rare neurons expressing iNOS. This upregulation was attenuated by the preincubation with Asc-p, which raised the intracellular concentration of ascorbate. Astrocytic hypertrophy and neuronal injury caused by gp120 were also prevented by preincubation with ascorbate. CONCLUSIONS: Ascorbate supplementation prevents the deleterious upregulation of iNOS and associated neuronal and astrocytic protein expression and structural changes caused by gp120 in human brain cell cultures.

    Journal of neuroinflammation 2004;1;1;8

  • Complete sequencing and characterization of 21,243 full-length human cDNAs.

    Ota T, Suzuki Y, Nishikawa T, Otsuki T, Sugiyama T, Irie R, Wakamatsu A, Hayashi K, Sato H, Nagai K, Kimura K, Makita H, Sekine M, Obayashi M, Nishi T, Shibahara T, Tanaka T, Ishii S, Yamamoto J, Saito K, Kawai Y, Isono Y, Nakamura Y, Nagahari K, Murakami K, Yasuda T, Iwayanagi T, Wagatsuma M, Shiratori A, Sudo H, Hosoiri T, Kaku Y, Kodaira H, Kondo H, Sugawara M, Takahashi M, Kanda K, Yokoi T, Furuya T, Kikkawa E, Omura Y, Abe K, Kamihara K, Katsuta N, Sato K, Tanikawa M, Yamazaki M, Ninomiya K, Ishibashi T, Yamashita H, Murakawa K, Fujimori K, Tanai H, Kimata M, Watanabe M, Hiraoka S, Chiba Y, Ishida S, Ono Y, Takiguchi S, Watanabe S, Yosida M, Hotuta T, Kusano J, Kanehori K, Takahashi-Fujii A, Hara H, Tanase TO, Nomura Y, Togiya S, Komai F, Hara R, Takeuchi K, Arita M, Imose N, Musashino K, Yuuki H, Oshima A, Sasaki N, Aotsuka S, Yoshikawa Y, Matsunawa H, Ichihara T, Shiohata N, Sano S, Moriya S, Momiyama H, Satoh N, Takami S, Terashima Y, Suzuki O, Nakagawa S, Senoh A, Mizoguchi H, Goto Y, Shimizu F, Wakebe H, Hishigaki H, Watanabe T, Sugiyama A, Takemoto M, Kawakami B, Yamazaki M, Watanabe K, Kumagai A, Itakura S, Fukuzumi Y, Fujimori Y, Komiyama M, Tashiro H, Tanigami A, Fujiwara T, Ono T, Yamada K, Fujii Y, Ozaki K, Hirao M, Ohmori Y, Kawabata A, Hikiji T, Kobatake N, Inagaki H, Ikema Y, Okamoto S, Okitani R, Kawakami T, Noguchi S, Itoh T, Shigeta K, Senba T, Matsumura K, Nakajima Y, Mizuno T, Morinaga M, Sasaki M, Togashi T, Oyama M, Hata H, Watanabe M, Komatsu T, Mizushima-Sugano J, Satoh T, Shirai Y, Takahashi Y, Nakagawa K, Okumura K, Nagase T, Nomura N, Kikuchi H, Masuho Y, Yamashita R, Nakai K, Yada T, Nakamura Y, Ohara O, Isogai T and Sugano S

    Helix Research Institute, 1532-3 Yana, Kisarazu, Chiba 292-0812, Japan.

    As a base for human transcriptome and functional genomics, we created the "full-length long Japan" (FLJ) collection of sequenced human cDNAs. We determined the entire sequence of 21,243 selected clones and found that 14,490 cDNAs (10,897 clusters) were unique to the FLJ collection. About half of them (5,416) seemed to be protein-coding. Of those, 1,999 clusters had not been predicted by computational methods. The distribution of GC content of nonpredicted cDNAs had a peak at approximately 58% compared with a peak at approximately 42%for predicted cDNAs. Thus, there seems to be a slight bias against GC-rich transcripts in current gene prediction procedures. The rest of the cDNAs unique to the FLJ collection (5,481) contained no obvious open reading frames (ORFs) and thus are candidate noncoding RNAs. About one-fourth of them (1,378) showed a clear pattern of splicing. The distribution of GC content of noncoding cDNAs was narrow and had a peak at approximately 42%, relatively low compared with that of protein-coding cDNAs.

    Nature genetics 2004;36;1;40-5

  • Alexander disease with serial MRS and a new mutation in the glial fibrillary acidic protein gene.

    Bassuk AG, Joshi A, Burton BK, Larsen MB, Burrowes DM and Stack C

    Division of Neurology/Department of Pediatrics, Children's Memorial Hospital, Chicago, IL 60614, USA. abassuk@childrensmemorial. org

    Neurology 2003;61;7;1014-5

  • Adult Alexander disease with autosomal dominant transmission: a distinct entity caused by mutation in the glial fibrillary acid protein gene.

    Stumpf E, Masson H, Duquette A, Berthelet F, McNabb J, Lortie A, Lesage J, Montplaisir J, Brais B and Cossette P

    Service de neurologie et Unité de Neurogénétique, Centre Hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal-Hôpital Notre-Dame, Montréal, Québec, Canada.

    Background: Infantile and juvenile forms of Alexander disease are well characterized and are caused by de novo mutations in the glial fibrillary acid protein (GFAP) gene. In contrast, the adult form of the disease has been rarely described, and the etiology of this variant remains unknown.

    Objective: To characterize the clinical phenotype and identify the gene causing an autosomal dominant form of adult Alexander disease.

    Methods: We identified a large kindred segregating clinical features compatible with adult Alexander disease in an autosomal dominant fashion. A neurological examination was performed on all affected members of this family. Most of these patients also underwent magnetic resonance imaging of the brain and a polysomnographic study. The diagnosis was confirmed pathologically in 2 individuals. We screened all coding regions of the GFAP gene in affected individuals by means of direct sequencing and single-stranded conformational polymorphisms analysis.

    Results: We found a novel D78E mutation in GFAP in all affected individuals. This mutation was not detected in more than 100 control subjects. Clinical and radiological features of affected individuals were clearly different from those of patients with the infantile and juvenile forms of the disease. The most consistent finding was the presence of bulbar signs. In addition, sleep disturbance (mainly sleep apnea), symptoms of dysautonomia, and dysmorphism were found in all affected individuals. In younger patients, magnetic resonance imaging showed T2 signal abnormalities in the medulla compatible with an area of demyelination. In contrast, in older patients, we found marked atrophy of the medulla without signal abnormalities. None of the affected individuals exhibit signs of demyelination of the cerebral white matter.

    Conclusions: The present study is the first demonstration of a mutation in GFAP that causes an autosomal dominant form of Alexander disease and establishes the existence of the adult variant. Clinical evaluation in individuals carrying mutation in the GFAP gene allowed a better definition of this heterogeneous clinical syndrome and will help increase its recognition in neurological practice.

    Archives of neurology 2003;60;9;1307-12

  • Neuronal expression of GFAP in patients with Alzheimer pathology and identification of novel GFAP splice forms.

    Hol EM, Roelofs RF, Moraal E, Sonnemans MA, Sluijs JA, Proper EA, de Graan PN, Fischer DF and van Leeuwen FW

    Netherlands Institute for Brain Research, Meibergdreef 33, 1105 AZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands. e.hol@nih.knaw.nl

    Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) is considered to be a highly specific marker for glia. Here, we report on the expression of GFAP in neurons in the human hippocampus. Intriguingly, this neuronal GFAP is coded by out-of-frame splice variants and its expression is associated with Alzheimer pathology. We identified three novel GFAP splice forms: Delta 135 nt, Delta exon 6 and Delta 164 nt. Neuronal GFAP is mainly observed in the pyramidal neurons of the hippocampus of Alzheimer and Down syndrome patients and aged controls, but not in neurons of patients suffering from hippocampal sclerosis. Apparently, the hippocampal neurons in patients with Alzheimer's disease pathology are capable of expressing glia-specific genes.

    Molecular psychiatry 2003;8;9;786-96

  • Genetic polymorphism and sequence evolution of an alternatively spliced exon of the glial fibrillary acidic protein gene, GFAP.

    Singh R, Nielsen AL, Johansen MG and Jørgensen AL

    Institute of Human Genetics, University of Aarhus, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark.

    Isoform GFAPepsilon of the human cytoskeletal protein GFAP carries, as the result of alternative splicing of exon 7a of GFAP, a novel 42-amino-acid-long C-terminal region with binding capacity for the presenilin proteins. Here we show that exon 7a is present in a variety of mammals but absent from GFAP of chicken and fish. Comparison of the mouse and human GFAP exons showed an increased rate of nonsynonymous nucleotide substitutions in exon 7a compared to the other exons. This resulted in 10 nonconservative and 2 conservative amino acid substitutions and suggests that exon 7a has evolved under different functional constraints. Exons 7a of humans and higher primates are 100% identical apart from alanine codon 426, which is conserved in only 9% of the human alleles, while 21 and 70% of the alleles, respectively, have a valine or a threonine codon at that position. Threonine represents a potential phosphorylation site, and positive selection of that effect could explain the high allele frequency.

    Genomics 2003;82;2;185-93

  • Detection of glial fibrillary acidic protein and neurofilaments in the cerebrospinal fluid of patients with neurocysticercosis.

    Quintanar JL, Franco LM and Salinas E

    Laboratory of Neurophysiology, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Centro de Ciencias Básicas, Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes, Avenida Universidad 940, C.P. 20100, Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes, México. jlquinta@correo.uaa.mx

    Neurocysticercosis (NCC) is an infection caused by Taenia solium larval metacestodes in the central nervous system. The glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and neurofilaments (NFs) can be used as markers of glial and neuronal damage, respectively. We studied the GFAP and NFs of 68, 160 and 200 kDa in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of patients with NCC by Western blotting. Our results showed that patients with NCC had significantly elevated GFAP levels in the CSF compared with the control, whereas NFs of 68, 160 and 200 kDa were not detected in the CFS of NCC patients. We concluded that GFAP could be used as a marker of glial damage in the CFS of NCC patients.

    Parasitology research 2003;90;4;261-3

  • Molecular genetic study in Japanese patients with Alexander disease: a novel mutation, R79L.

    Shiroma N, Kanazawa N, Kato Z, Shimozawa N, Imamura A, Ito M, Ohtani K, Oka A, Wakabayashi K, Iai M, Sugai K, Sasaki M, Kaga M, Ohta T and Tsujino S

    Department of Inherited Metabolic Disease, National Institute of Neuroscience, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, 4-1-1, Tokyo, Japan

    Since the first report by Brenner et al. of mutations in the glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) gene in patients with Alexander disease, several molecular genetic studies have been performed in different ethnic groups. We previously reported a Japanese patient with a mutation, R239C, which is identical to one commonly found in American patients. Here we have analyzed four additional Japanese patients by screening for known mutations or, if no known mutation was found, by sequencing of all exons of the GFAP gene. We detected three missense mutations; one was a novel mutation, R79L, and two were previously reported mutations, R239C and R79C. All of our patients were heterozygous for their mutations. Together with the novel mutation, R79L, four different nucleotide changes altering the R79 residue have been reported, implying that any alternation of this arginine residue can give the GFAP protein a dominant negative effect, leading to accumulation of GFAP as Rosenthal fibers. We conclude that molecular genetic analysis of the GFAP gene is feasible for antemortem diagnosis of Alexander disease in Japanese patients.

    Brain & development 2003;25;2;116-21

  • A novel GFAP mutation and disseminated white matter lesions: adult Alexander disease?

    Brockmann K, Meins M, Taubert A, Trappe R, Grond M and Hanefeld F

    Department of Pediatrics and Neuropediatrics, University of Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany. kbrock@med.uni-goettingen.de

    The recent discovery of heterozygous de novo mutations in the glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) gene as the cause of infantile and juvenile Alexander disease has shed new light on the long-standing debate whether the adult subtype has the same etiology as infantile and juvenile Alexander disease. A 40-year-old man presented with subacute left hemiplegia and ataxia. Cranial MRI revealed disseminated patchy white matter changes involving the corpus callosum, basal ganglia and brainstem. CSF investigation demonstrated elevated total protein but was otherwise normal. Mutation analysis of the GFAP gene was performed in the patient, his mother and healthy brother. A novel heterozygous mutation in exon 4, 681G-->C, predicting an amino acid substitution E223Q in the rod region of GFAP was detected in the patient and his mother but not in his healthy brother or 150 control chromosomes. We conclude that the patient is actually afflicted with Alexander disease. Mutation analysis of GFAP should be considered in patients with remitting neurological deficits, disseminated white matter lesions and absence of inflammatory CSF changes.

    European neurology 2003;50;2;100-5

  • Identification of GFAP gene mutation in hereditary adult-onset Alexander's disease.

    Namekawa M, Takiyama Y, Aoki Y, Takayashiki N, Sakoe K, Shimazaki H, Taguchi T, Tanaka Y, Nishizawa M, Saito K, Matsubara Y and Nakano I

    Department of Neurology, Jichi Medical School, Tochigi 329-0498, Japan.

    Alexander's disease, a leukodystrophy characterized by Rosenthal fibers (RFs) in the brain, is categorized into three subtypes: infantile, juvenile, and adult. Although most are sporadic, occasional familial Alexander's disease cases have been reported for each subtype. Hereditary adult-onset Alexander's disease shows progressive spastic paresis, bulbar or pseudobulbar palsy, palatal myoclonus symptomatologically, and prominent atrophy of the medulla oblongata and upper spinal cord on magnetic resonance imaging. Recent identification of GFAP gene mutations in the sporadic infantile- and juvenile-onset Alexander's disease prompted us to examine the GFAP gene in two Japanese hereditary adult-onset Alexander's disease brothers with autopsy in one case. Both had spastic paresis without palatal myoclonus, and magnetic resonance imaging showed marked atrophy of the medulla oblongata and cervicothoracic cord. The autopsy showed severely involved shrunken pyramids, but scarce Rosenthal fibers (RFs). Moderate numbers of Rosenthal fibers (RFs) were observed in the stratum subcallosum and hippocampal fimbria. In both cases, we found a novel missense mutation of a G-to-T transition at nucleotide 841 in the GFAP gene that results in the substitution of arginine for leucine at amino acid residue 276 (R276L). This is the first report of identification of the causative mutation of the GFAP gene for neuropathologically proven hereditary adult-onset Alexander's disease, suggesting a common molecular mechanism underlies the three Alexander's disease subtypes.

    Annals of neurology 2002;52;6;779-85

  • A new splice variant of glial fibrillary acidic protein, GFAP epsilon, interacts with the presenilin proteins.

    Nielsen AL, Holm IE, Johansen M, Bonven B, Jørgensen P and Jørgensen AL

    Department of Human Genetics, University of Aarhus, Denmark. aln@mbio.aau.dk

    We describe a new human isoform, GFAP epsilon, of the intermediary filament protein GFAP (glial fibrillary acidic protein). GFAP epsilon mRNA is the result of alternative splicing and a new polyadenylation signal, and thus GFAP epsilon has a new C-terminal protein sequence. This provides GFAP epsilon with the capacity for specific binding of presenilin proteins in yeast and in vitro. Our observations suggest a direct link between the presenilins and the cytoskeleton where GFAP epsilon is incorporated. Mutations in GFAP and presenilins are associated with Alexander disease and Alzheimer's disease, respectively. Accordingly, GFAP epsilon should be taken into consideration when studying neurodegenerative diseases.

    The Journal of biological chemistry 2002;277;33;29983-91

  • Menin's interaction with glial fibrillary acidic protein and vimentin suggests a role for the intermediate filament network in regulating menin activity.

    Lopez-Egido J, Cunningham J, Berg M, Oberg K, Bongcam-Rudloff E and Gobl A

    Department of Medical Sciences, Endocrine Oncology Unit, Uppsala University Hospital, S-751 85 Uppsala, Sweden.

    Recently the multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) tumor suppressor gene was cloned. Its protein product, called menin, has been shown to associate with the AP1 transcription factor JunD and to repress JunD-mediated transcription. However, little is known concerning the regulation of menin. Here we report that menin interacts with the type III intermediate filament (IF) proteins glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and vimentin. Menin's interaction with these IF proteins was characterized and confirmed both in vitro and in vivo using GST pull-down analysis, co-immunoprecipitation experiments, and immunofluorescence studies. Deletion mutants of GFAP or vimentin involving the head domains of the molecules abolish the interaction with menin. Endogenous menin is colocalized with GFAP and vimentin in glioma cells as determined by confocal microscopy. Furthermore, a tailless GFAP deletion mutant, which disrupts the IF network, results in menin/GFAP/vimentin-containing aggregates. Triple immunofluorescence labeling studies with antibodies against menin, BrdU, and GFAP show that menin and GFAP colocalize in glioma cells at the S-G2 phase of the cell cycle, as measured by BrdU incorporation. Our data suggest that the intermediate filament network interacts with and may serve as a cytoplasmic sequestering network for menin at the S and early G2 phase of the cell cycle.

    Experimental cell research 2002;278;2;175-83

  • Protective role of phosphorylation in turnover of glial fibrillary acidic protein in mice.

    Takemura M, Gomi H, Colucci-Guyon E and Itohara S

    Laboratory for Behavioral Genetics, RIKEN Brain Science Institute, Wako 351-0198, Japan.

    Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), the principal intermediate filament (IF) protein of mature astrocytes in the CNS, plays specific roles in astrocyte functions. GFAP has multiple phosphorylation sites at its N-terminal head domain. To examine the role of phosphorylation at these sites, we generated a series of substitution mutant mice in which phosphorylation sites (Ser/Thr) were replaced by Ala, in different combinations. Gfap(hm3/hm3) mice carrying substitutions at all five phosphorylation sites showed extensive decrease in both filament formation and amounts of GFAP. Gfap(hm1/hm1) and Gfap(hm2/hm2) mice, which carry substitutions at three of five sites and in different combinations, showed differential phenotypes. Although Gfap(hm3/hm3) mice retained GFAP filaments in Bergmann glia in the cerebellum, the (Gfap(hm3/hm3):Vim(-/-)) mice lacked GFAP filaments. Pulse-chase experiments of cultured astrocytes indicated that the Hm3-GFAP encoded by Gfap(hm3) was unstable particularly in the absence of vimentin, another IF protein. These results revealed the role of phosphorylation in turnover of GFAP and a synergistic role of GFAP and vimentin in the dynamics of glial filaments. The data further suggest that each of the phosphorylated sites has a distinct impact on the dynamics of GFAP.

    The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience 2002;22;16;6972-9

  • Cytoplasmic localization of wild-type p53 in glioblastomas correlates with expression of vimentin and glial fibrillary acidic protein.

    Sembritzki O, Hagel C, Lamszus K, Deppert W and Bohn W

    Department of Tumor Virology, Heinrich-Pette-Institute of Experimental Virology and Immunology, University of Hamburg, Martinistrasse 52, 20251 Hamburg, Germany.

    Cytoplasmic accumulation of wild-type p53 in tumor cells indicates that the tumor suppressor is inactive with regard to growth suppressive functions. Whether this occurs randomly during tumor development or characterizes a certain tumor cell subset is not known. Here we assayed primary glioblastomas for expression and subcellular localization of p53 and determined a correlation with expression of intermediate filament proteins characterizing glial cell development. Sixty-nine percent of the tumors were p53 positive in immunohistochemistry. A significant number of tumors (23%) accumulated wild-type p53 in the cytoplasm, which correlated with the presence of vimentin and glial fibrillary acidic protein, except for 1 case. Tumors with exclusive nuclear p53 contained none or only one of these intermediate filament proteins. In an alternative approach, tumors positive for glial fibrillary acidic protein were screened for expression of p53 and vimentin. Thirty-eight percent of these tumors showed cytoplasmic p53, and all of those also expressed vimentin. Tumors with only nuclear p53 were vimentin negative, except for 1 case. No mutation was detected in p53 exons 5 to 8 in tumors with cytoplasmic p53, suggesting that they express wild-type p53. The data indicate that a cytoplasmic accumulation of wild-type p53 in human primary glioblastomas correlates with a certain intermediate filament protein expression, suggesting that it identifies a certain subset of tumors.

    Neuro-oncology 2002;4;3;171-8

  • Juvenile Alexander disease with a novel mutation in glial fibrillary acidic protein gene.

    Sawaishi Y, Yano T, Takaku I and Takada G

    Department of Pediatrics, Akita University School of Medicine, Japan. sawaishi@ped.med.akita-u.ac.jp

    Early-onset (infantile) Alexander disease is associated with mutations in the glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) gene and two hot spots correlate to the severe phenotype. No molecular mechanisms have been elucidated in late-onset (juvenile) Alexander disease. The authors report a novel GFAP mutation in a patient with juvenile Alexander disease. The authors discuss similar molecular mechanisms in another intermediate filament disease and propose a possible molecular pathogenesis in juvenile Alexander disease.

    Neurology 2002;58;10;1541-3

  • Autosomal dominant palatal myoclonus and spinal cord atrophy.

    Okamoto Y, Mitsuyama H, Jonosono M, Hirata K, Arimura K, Osame M and Nakagawa M

    Third Department of Internal Medicine, Kagoshima University Faculty of Medicine, 8-35-1 Sakuragaoka, Kagoshima 890-8520, Kagoshima City, Japan.

    We report a new family with palatal myoclonus, pyramidal tract signs, cerebellar signs, marked atrophy of the medulla oblongata and spinal cord, and autosomal dominant inheritance. These findings were almost identical with those in patients previously reported to have histopathologically confirmed adult-onset Alexander disease. Recently, heterozygous point mutations in the coding region of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) in patients with an infantile form of Alexander disease have been reported. We found a new heterozygous amino acid substitution, Val87Gly in exon 1 of GFAP, in the affected individuals in this family but not in 100 spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA) patients and 100 controls. Therefore, this family might have new clinical entities related to adult-onset Alexander disease and GFAP mutation.

    Journal of the neurological sciences 2002;195;1;71-6

  • Cerebrospinal fluid neurofilament and glial fibrillary acidic protein in patients with cerebral vasculitis.

    Nylén K, Karlsson JE, Blomstrand C, Tarkowski A, Trysberg E and Rosengren LE

    Department of Neurology, Institute of Clinical Neuroscience, Sahlgrens University Hospital, University of Göteborg, Göteborg, Sweden. karin.nylen@neuro.gu.se

    Few diseases in clinical medicine cause as much diagnostic consternation as central nervous system (CNS) vasculitis because of its varying modes of presentation and frequently overlapping clinical and pathological features. There are no pathognomonic clinical or laboratory findings. The purpose of the present retrospective study was to validate the use of the light subunit of neurofilament triplet protein (NFL) and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) as markers of CNS tissue damage for patients with systemic or isolated CNS vasculitis. Levels of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) NFL and GFAP were measured using ELISAs. Both CSF NFL and CSF GFAP concentrations were significantly higher in a patient group diagnosed with CNS vasculitis (P < 0.01 and P < 0.05, respectively) than in a patient group for whom CNS vasculitis was excluded. In the future, analysis of CSF NFL in particular, but also GFAP, may be a useful complement in the difficult clinical task of diagnosing CNS vasculitis.

    Journal of neuroscience research 2002;67;6;844-51

  • Infantile Alexander disease: spectrum of GFAP mutations and genotype-phenotype correlation.

    Rodriguez D, Gauthier F, Bertini E, Bugiani M, Brenner M, N'guyen S, Goizet C, Gelot A, Surtees R, Pedespan JM, Hernandorena X, Troncoso M, Uziel G, Messing A, Ponsot G, Pham-Dinh D, Dautigny A and Boespflug-Tanguy O

    Laboratoire de Neurogénétique Moléculaire, INSERM U546, Université Paris VI, France. Diana.Rodriguez@snv.jussieu.fr

    Heterozygous, de novo mutations in the glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) gene have recently been reported in 12 patients affected by neuropathologically proved Alexander disease. We searched for GFAP mutations in a series of patients who had heterogeneous clinical symptoms but were candidates for Alexander disease on the basis of suggestive neuroimaging abnormalities. Missense, heterozygous, de novo GFAP mutations were found in exons 1 or 4 for 14 of the 15 patients analyzed, including patients without macrocephaly. Nine patients carried arginine mutations (four had R79H; four had R239C; and one had R239H) that have been described elsewhere, whereas the other five had one of four novel mutations, of which two affect arginine (2R88C and 1R88S) and two affect nonarginine residues (1L76F and 1N77Y). All mutations were located in the rod domain of GFAP, and there is a correlation between clinical severity and the affected amino acid. These results confirm that GFAP mutations are a reliable molecular marker for the diagnosis of infantile Alexander disease, and they also form a basis for the recommendation of GFAP analysis for prenatal diagnosis to detect potential cases of germinal mosaicism.

    American journal of human genetics 2001;69;5;1134-40

  • A novel mutation in glial fibrillary acidic protein gene in a patient with Alexander disease.

    Aoki Y, Haginoya K, Munakata M, Yokoyama H, Nishio T, Togashi N, Ito T, Suzuki Y, Kure S, Iinuma K, Brenner M and Matsubara Y

    Department of Medical Genetics, Tohoku University School of Medicine, 1-1 Seiryo-machi, Sendai 980-8574, Japan. aokiy@mail.cc.tohoku.ac.jp

    Alexander disease is a rare, progressive, leukoencephalopathy whose hallmark is the widespread accumulation of Rosenthal fibers. The most common form affects infants and young children, and is characterized by progressive failure of central myelination, usually leading to death before adulthood. Definitive diagnosis of Alexander disease has required biopsy or autopsy to demonstrate the presence of Rosenthal fibers. However, missense mutations in the coding region of the glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) gene have recently been associated with a high percentage of pathologically proven cases. Here we report that a 10-year-old Japanese patient who showed clinical signs of Alexander disease is heterozygous for a C to T transition in which predicts a novel A244V amino acid substitution in the conserved 2A alpha-helix domain of GFAP. The nucleotide change was not found in 65 normal individuals (130 alleles). These results provide further support for a causative role for GFAP mutations in Alexander disease, and suggest DNA sequencing as an alternative diagnostic to biopsy.

    Neuroscience letters 2001;312;2;71-4

  • Fibroblasts can express glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) in vivo.

    Hainfellner JA, Voigtländer T, Ströbel T, Mazal PR, Maddalena AS, Aguzzi A and Budka H

    Institute of Neurology, University of Vienna, Austria.

    Neuropathologists use anti-glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) antibodies as specific markers for glial cells, and neurobiologists use GFAP for targeting transgenes to glial cells. Since GFAP has also been detected in non-glial cells, we systematically analyzed GFAP expression in human and murine non-CNS tissues using a panel of anti-GFAP antibodies. In human tissues we confirm previously observed GFAP expression in Schwann cells, myoepithelial cells, and chondrocytes, and show for the first time GFAP expression in fibroblasts of epiglottic and auricular perichondrium, ligamentum flavum, and cardiac valves. In mice we show GFAP expression in Schwann cells, bone marrow stromal cells, chondrocytes, and in fibroblasts of dura mater, skull and spinal perichondrium, and periosteum, connective stroma of oral cavity, dental pulp, and cardiac valves. Anti-GFAP immunoblotting of human non-CNS tissues reveals protein bands with a molecular mass ranging between approximately 35 and approximately 42 kDa. In GFAP-v-src transgenic mice, whose oncogenic v-src transgene transforms GFAP expressing cells, non-CNS tumors originate from fibroblasts. We conclude that human and murine fibroblasts can express GFAP in vivo. The somatic distribution of GFAP expressing fibroblasts indicates origin from the neural crest. Development of non-CNS tumors from fibroblasts in GFAP-v-src mice functionally confirms GFAP expression in these cells.

    Journal of neuropathology and experimental neurology 2001;60;5;449-61

  • HIV-1 Nef co-localizes with the astrocyte-specific cytoskeleton protein GFAP in persistently nef-expressing human astrocytes.

    Kohleisen B, Hutzler P, Shumay E, Ovod V and Erfle V

    GSF-National Research Center for Environment and Health, Institute of Molecular Virology, Neuherberg, Germany.

    In T-cells HIV-1 Nef exerts various functions and interacts with actin. In astrocytes interaction of Nef with cellular proteins is poorly understood. Therefore, human astrocytic cell clones stably transfected with nef-genes derived from HIV-1 Bru and its myristoylation-defective TH-variant were investigated by confocal laser scanning microscopy for expression of Nef and cytoskeleton proteins actin and GFAP, a marker for activated astrocytes. Myristoylated Nef was detected in cytoplasm, Golgi and plasmamembrane, while non-myristoylated Nef was exclusively cytoplasmic. Nef co-localised with GFAP in the perinuclear region of astrocytes. In contrast, Nef did not interact with actin filaments in human astrocytes. Nef/GFAP interaction could contribute to changes in morphology and activation state of astrocytes shown previously which are both critical for development of astrogliosis in HIV-1 infected brain.

    Journal of neurovirology 2001;7;1;52-5

  • Mutations in GFAP, encoding glial fibrillary acidic protein, are associated with Alexander disease.

    Brenner M, Johnson AB, Boespflug-Tanguy O, Rodriguez D, Goldman JE and Messing A

    Department of Neurobiology, University of Alabama-Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama, USA.

    Alexander disease is a rare disorder of the central nervous system of unknown etiology. Infants with Alexander disease develop a leukoencephalopathy with macrocephaly, seizures and psychomotor retardation, leading to death usually within the first decade; patients with juvenile or adult forms typically experience ataxia, bulbar signs and spasticity, and a more slowly progressive course. The pathological hallmark of all forms of Alexander disease is the presence of Rosenthal fibers, cytoplasmic inclusions in astrocytes that contain the intermediate filament protein GFAP in association with small heat-shock proteins. We previously found that overexpression of human GFAP in astrocytes of transgenic mice is fatal and accompanied by the presence of inclusion bodies indistinguishable from human Rosenthal fibers. These results suggested that a primary alteration in GFAP may be responsible for Alexander disease. Sequence analysis of DNA samples from patients representing different Alexander disease phenotypes revealed that most cases are associated with non-conservative mutations in the coding region of GFAP. Alexander disease therefore represents the first example of a primary genetic disorder of astrocytes, one of the major cell types in the vertebrate CNS.

    Funded by: Telethon: C.20

    Nature genetics 2001;27;1;117-20

  • Diagnosis of Alexander disease in a Japanese patient by molecular genetic analysis.

    Shiroma N, Kanazawa N, Izumi M, Sugai K, Fukumizu M, Sasaki M, Hanaoka S, Kaga M and Tsujino S

    Department of Inherited Metabolic Disease, National Institute of Neuroscience, Kodaira, Tokyo, Japan.

    Alexander disease is a leukodystrophy that is neuropathologically characterized by the presence of numerous Rosenthal fibers in astrocytes. Recently, mutations in the gene encoding glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) were identified in patients with Alexander disease. We sequenced the GFAP gene of a Japanese girl who presented with typical symptoms of Alexander disease but in whom the diagnosis was not proven by histopathology. We identified a missense mutation, R239C, which is identical to the mutation previously reported to be most frequent. As was the case in previously described patients, our patient was also heterozygous for the de novo mutation. Interestingly, despite the fact that this is a de novo mutation, R239C was found to be common in different ethnic groups, implying that the site is a "hot spot" for mutagenesis. Molecular genetic analysis now makes the antemortem diagnosis of Alexander disease possible.

    Journal of human genetics 2001;46;10;579-82

  • Stable expression of HIV-1 Nef induces changes in growth properties and activation state of human astrocytes.

    Kohleisen B, Shumay E, Sutter G, Foerster R, Brack-Werner R, Nuesse M and Erfle V

    GSF-National Research Center for Environment and Health, Institute of Molecular Virology, Neuherberg, Germany.

    Objective: Nef was shown to be the predominant viral protein expressed in HIV-1-infected astrocytes in vivo and in vitro suggesting a distinct role of Nef in this cell type. Nef-induced activation of T cells is well described, whereas the functional activities of Nef in astrocytes are unknown. Our aim was to examine the effect of Nef on growth properties and activation of astrocytes.

    Design: Human Nef-expressing astrocytic cell lines were established by stable transfection with different wild-type and mutant nef genes derived from laboratory isolates and brain tissue.

    Methods: Nef-expressing astrocytes were characterized in terms of growth properties (proliferation, growth in soft agar, focus formation) and morphology. Apoptotic cell death and expression of activation markers were determined by fluorescent antibody cell sorting.

    Results: Astrocytic cell lines revealed persistent Nef expression--detectable at the levels of mRNA and protein--and showed altered growth properties and morphology. Elevated expression of activation markers such as glial fibrillary acidic protein and CD88 (complement receptor C5a) was observed; these are regarded as markers for inflammatory processes in the brain. This effect was independent of the nef type or the expression level of the Nef protein. In contrast with previous reports no evidence for increased apoptotic cell death was found in astrocytes expressing Nef stably.

    Conclusions: Our findings suggest that Nef changes the cellular properties of astrocytes, thus contributing to astrocyte activation and induction of astrogliosis in the central nervous system of individuals with AIDS.

    AIDS (London, England) 1999;13;17;2331-41

  • The calcium-modulated proteins, S100A1 and S100B, as potential regulators of the dynamics of type III intermediate filaments.

    Garbuglia M, Verzini M, Sorci G, Bianchi R, Giambanco I, Agneletti AL and Donato R

    Section of Anatomy, Department of Experimental Medicine and Biochemical Sciences, University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy.

    The Ca2+-modulated, dimeric proteins of the EF-hand (helix-loop-helix) type, S100A1 and S100B, that have been shown to inhibit microtubule (MT) protein assembly and to promote MT disassembly, interact with the type III intermediate filament (IF) subunits, desmin and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), with a stoichiometry of 2 mol of IF subunit/mol of S100A1 or S100B dimer and an affinity of 0.5-1.0 microM in the presence of a few micromolar concentrations of Ca2+. Binding of S100A1 and S100B results in inhibition of desmin and GFAP assemblies into IFs and stimulation of the disassembly of preformed desmin and GFAP IFs. S100A1 and S100B interact with a stretch of residues in the N-terminal (head) domain of desmin and GFAP, thereby blocking the head-to-tail process of IF elongation. The C-terminal extension of S100A1 (and, likely, S100B) represents a critical part of the site that recognizes desmin and GFAP. S100B is localized to IFs within cells, suggesting that it might have a role in remodeling IFs upon elevation of cytosolic Ca2+ concentration by avoiding excess IF assembly and/or promoting IF disassembly in vivo. S100A1, that is not localized to IFs, might also play a role in the regulation of IF dynamics by binding to and sequestering unassembled IF subunits. Together, these observations suggest that S100A1 and S100B may be regarded as Ca2+-dependent regulators of the state of assembly of two important elements of the cytoskeleton, IFs and MTs, and, potentially, of MT- and IF-based activities.

    Brazilian journal of medical and biological research = Revista brasileira de pesquisas medicas e biologicas 1999;32;10;1177-85

  • Determination of the gene structure of human GFAP and absence of coding region mutations associated with frontotemporal dementia with parkinsonism linked to chromosome 17.

    Isaacs A, Baker M, Wavrant-De Vrièze F and Hutton M

    Mayo Clinic Jacksonville, 4500 San Pablo Road, Jacksonville, Florida, 32224, USA.

    Funded by: NINDS NIH HHS: NS37143-01

    Genomics 1998;51;1;152-4

  • Mapping and characterization of novel (CAG)n repeat cDNAs from adult human brain derived by the oligo capture method.

    Reddy PH, Stockburger E, Gillevet P and Tagle DA

    Genetics and Molecular Biology Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-4442, USA.

    The expansion of a (CAG)n trinucleotide repeat has been associated with at least eight neurological disorders in which the repeats code for polyglutamine in the protein. To identify additional genes that possess (CAG)n repeats, single-stranded cDNA clones derived from adult human brain were screened using biotinylated oligonucleotide (CAG)8, and the hybridizing complexes were isolated with strepavidin-coated paramagnetic beads. A total of 119 cDNA clones were isolated and initially characterized by end sequencing. BLAST homology searches were used to reduce redundancies with overlapping clones and to eliminate those that show sequence identity with previously published cDNAs with triplet repeats. Only cDNA clones with more than five CAG repeats were pursued for analysis. A total of 19 novel cDNAs were further characterized by determining chromosomal assignments using the Stanford G3 and Genebridge radiation-reduced hybrid mapping panels. Transcript sizes and tissue expression patterns were determined by Northern blot analysis. Two of 19 clones showed specific or high expression in brain. These cDNAs are ideal candidate genes for other neurodegenerative disorders, such as spinocerebellar ataxia types 5 and 7, and may also be implicated in psychiatric diseases such as bipolar affected disorder and schizophrenia.

    Genomics 1997;46;2;174-82

  • Construction and characterization of a full length-enriched and a 5'-end-enriched cDNA library.

    Suzuki Y, Yoshitomo-Nakagawa K, Maruyama K, Suyama A and Sugano S

    International and Interdisciplinary Studies, The University of Tokyo, Japan.

    Using 'oligo-capped' mRNA [Maruyama, K., Sugano, S., 1994. Oligo-capping: a simple method to replace the cap structure of eukaryotic mRNAs with oligoribonucleotides. Gene 138, 171-174], whose cap structure was replaced by a synthetic oligonucleotide, we constructed two types of cDNA library. One is a 'full length-enriched cDNA library' which has a high content of full-length cDNA clones and the other is a '5'-end-enriched cDNA library', which has a high content of cDNA clones with their mRNA start sites. The 5'-end-enriched library was constructed especially for isolating the mRNA start sites of long mRNAs. In order to characterize these libraries, we performed one-pass sequencing of randomly selected cDNA clones from both libraries (84 clones for the full length-enriched cDNA library and 159 clones for the 5'-end-enriched cDNA library). The cDNA clones of the polypeptide chain elongation factor 1 alpha were most frequently (nine clones) isolated, and more than 80% of them (eight clones) contained the mRNA start site of the gene. Furthermore, about 80% of the cDNA clones of both libraries whose sequence matched with known genes had the known 5' ends or sequences upstream of the known 5' ends (28 out of 35 for the full length-enriched library and 51 out of 62 for the 5'-end-enriched library). The longest full-length clone of the full length-enriched cDNA library was about 3300 bp (among 28 clones). In contrast, seven clones (out of the 51 clones with the mRNA start sites) from the 5'-end-enriched cDNA library came from mRNAs whose length is more than 3500 bp. These cDNA libraries may be useful for generating 5' ESTs with the information of the mRNA start sites that are now scarce in the EST database.

    Gene 1997;200;1-2;149-56

  • Phosphorylation of glial fibrillary acidic protein at the same sites by cleavage furrow kinase and Rho-associated kinase.

    Kosako H, Amano M, Yanagida M, Tanabe K, Nishi Y, Kaibuchi K and Inagaki M

    Laboratory of Biochemistry, Aichi Cancer Center Research Institute, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya, Aichi 464, Japan.

    Site- and phosphorylation state-specific antibodies are useful to analyze spatiotemporal distribution of site-specific phosphorylation of target proteins in vivo. Using several polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies that can specifically recognize four phosphorylated sites on glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), we have previously reported that Thr-7, Ser-13, and Ser-34 on this intermediate filament protein are phosphorylated at the cleavage furrow during cytokinesis. This observation suggests that there exists a protein kinase named cleavage furrow kinase specifically activated at metaphase-anaphase transition (Matsuoka, Y., Nishizawa, K., Yano, T., Shibata, M., Ando, S., Takahashi, T., and Inagaki, M. (1992) EMBO J. 11, 2895-2902; Sekimata, M., Tsujimura, K., Tanaka, J., Takeuchi, Y., Inagaki, N., and Inagaki, M. (1996) J. Cell Biol. 132, 635-641). Here we report that GFAP is phosphorylated specifically at Thr-7, Ser-13, and Ser-34 by Rho-associated kinase (Rho-kinase), which binds to the small GTPase Rho in its GTP-bound active form. The kinase activity of Rho-kinase toward GFAP is dramatically stimulated by guanosine 5'-(3-O-thio)-triphosphate-bound RhoA. Furthermore, the phosphorylation of GFAP by Rho-kinase results in a nearly complete inhibition of its filament formation in vitro. The possibility that Rho-kinase is a candidate for cleavage furrow kinase is discussed.

    The Journal of biological chemistry 1997;272;16;10333-6

  • Glial fibrillary acidic protein transcriptional regulation is independent of a TFIID-binding downstream initiator sequence.

    Hatch N and Sarid J

    Department of Surgery, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02115.

    Previous studies have shown that the promoter of the glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) gene contains a transcriptional initiator located downstream from the transcription initiation (cap) site. This initiator was shown to be essential for efficient in vitro TATA box binding and function of TATA box-binding factor (TFIID); its deletion significantly reduced in vitro template transcription by the GFAP promoter and inhibited almost completely expression of a reporter gene under control of human GFAP promoter and upstream sequences in glial cells. However, although activity of initiator-containing GFAP promoter in human and murine GFAP-reporter constructs in transfected cells was shown to increase sharply when upstream cis-acting elements are added, initiator-lacking murine constructs have shown a small GFAP promoter region to have high activity in glioma cells, with no increase in activity when regulatory sequences are extended further upstream. These findings suggested a possible difference between the in vitro and in vivo effects of the downstream initiator on the promoter region itself, as well as an in vivo interplay between the initiator and regulatory sequences upstream from the promoter region. Here we have analyzed the effect of the downstream initiator on gene expression in cells using matched (pairs of otherwise identical initiator-containing and initiator-deleted plasmids) constructs extending to different upstream positions. We show that matched initiator-containing and initiator-deleted counterparts direct similar expression levels, and that, with or without the downstream initiator, expression levels increase sharply when upstream sequences are added to the GFAP promoter. Our results show that the downstream initiator is not required for GFAP transcriptional activity in cultured cells.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

    Journal of neurochemistry 1994;63;6;2003-9

  • Identification of phosphorylation sites on glial fibrillary acidic protein for cdc2 kinase and Ca(2+)-calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II.

    Tsujimura K, Tanaka J, Ando S, Matsuoka Y, Kusubata M, Sugiura H, Yamauchi T and Inagaki M

    Department of Neurophysiology, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology.

    We identified the phosphorylation sites of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) for cdc2 kinase and Ca(2+)-calmodulin (CaM)-dependent protein kinase II. GFAP was phosphorylated to approximately 0.2 mol of phosphate/mol of GFAP by cdc2 kinase, and this phosphorylation did not induce disassembly of the filament structure. On the other hand, GFAP was phosphorylated to approximately 1.9 mol of phosphate/mol of GFAP by Ca(2+)-CaM-dependent protein kinase II, and this phosphorylation did induce disassembly of the filament. Sequential analysis of the purified phosphopeptides revealed that only Ser8 on GFAP was phosphorylated by cdc2 kinase, whereas Ser13, Ser17, Ser34, and Ser389 on GFAP were phosphorylated by Ca(2+)-CaM-dependent protein kinase II.

    Journal of biochemistry 1994;116;2;426-34

  • Human immunodeficiency virus protein gp120 interferes with beta-adrenergic receptor-mediated protein phosphorylation in cultured rat cortical astrocytes.

    Bernardo A, Patrizio M, Levi G and Petrucci TC

    Laboratory of Cell Biology, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Roma, Italy.

    1. We have previously shown that acute exposure to the HIV coat protein gp120 interferes with the beta-adrenergic regulation of astroglial and microglial cells (Levi et al., 1993). In particular, exposure to 100 pM gp120 for 30 min depressed the phosphorylation of vimentin and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) induced by isoproterenol in rat cortical astrocyte cultures. In the present study we have extended our analysis on the effects of gp120 on astroglial protein phosphorylation. 2. We found that chronic (3-day) treatment of the cells with 100 pM gp120 before exposure to isoproterenol was substantially more effective than acute treatment in depressing the stimulatory effect of the beta-adrenergic agonist on vimentin and GFAP phosphorylation. 3. Even after chronic treatment with gp120, no differences were found in the levels and solubility of these proteins. 4. Besides stimulating the phosphorylation of intermediate filament proteins, isoproterenol inhibited the incorporation of 32P into a soluble acidic protein of 80,000 M(r), which was only minimally present in Triton X-100-insoluble extracts. 5. Treatment of astrocytes with a phorbol ester or exposure to 3H-myristic acid indicated that the acidic 80,000 M(r) protein is a substrate for protein kinase C (PKC) and is myristoylated, thus suggesting that it is related to the MARCKS family of PKC substrates. 6. Acute (30-min) treatment with 100 pM gp120 totally prevented the inhibitory effect of isoproterenol on the phosphorylation of the 80,000 M(r) MARCKS-like protein. 7. Our studies corroborate the hypothesis that viral components may contribute to the neuropathological changes observed in AIDS through the alteration of signal transduction systems in glial cells.

    Cellular and molecular neurobiology 1994;14;2;159-73

  • Oligo-capping: a simple method to replace the cap structure of eukaryotic mRNAs with oligoribonucleotides.

    Maruyama K and Sugano S

    Institute of Medical Science, University of Tokyo, Japan.

    We have devised a method to replace the cap structure of a mRNA with an oligoribonucleotide (r-oligo) to label the 5' end of eukaryotic mRNAs. The method consists of removing the cap with tobacco acid pyrophosphatase (TAP) and ligating r-oligos to decapped mRNAs with T4 RNA ligase. This reaction was made cap-specific by removing 5'-phosphates of non-capped RNAs with alkaline phosphatase prior to TAP treatment. Unlike the conventional methods that label the 5' end of cDNAs, this method specifically labels the capped end of the mRNAs with a synthetic r-oligo prior to first-strand cDNA synthesis. The 5' end of the mRNA was identified quite simply by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR).

    Gene 1994;138;1-2;171-4

  • HIV-1 envelope gp120 alters astrocytes in human brain cultures.

    Pulliam L, West D, Haigwood N and Swanson RA

    Department of Laboratory Medicine, University of California, San Francisco.

    The majority of AIDS patients will experience some degree of dementia induced by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1). In this study, we report that treatment of human brain tissue with envelope gp120 of HIV-1 did not cause neuronal death but did cause astrocyte alterations and/or death. Human astrocyte cultures showed decreased expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), as well as the diminution of a major protein of 66 kDa. These findings are similar to the in vitro changes observed when astrocytes are exposed to ammonia and in vivo changes observed in experimental hepatic encephalopathy. We hypothesize that AIDS dementia may partially involve a perturbation of astrocyte function by gp120 that could indirectly impair neuronal function.

    AIDS research and human retroviruses 1993;9;5;439-44

  • Human immunodeficiency virus coat protein gp120 inhibits the beta-adrenergic regulation of astroglial and microglial functions.

    Levi G, Patrizio M, Bernardo A, Petrucci TC and Agresti C

    Laboratory of Pathophysiology, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy.

    The goal of our study was to assess whether the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) coat protein gp120 induces functional alterations in astrocytes and microglia, known for their reactivity and involvement in most types of brain pathology. We hypothesized that gp120-induced anomalies in glial functions, if present, might be mediated by changes in the levels of intracellular messengers important for signal transduction, such as cAMP. Acute (10 min) exposure of cultured rat cortical astrocytes or microglia to 100 pM gp120 caused only a modest (50-60%), though statistically significant, elevation in cAMP levels, which was antagonized by the beta-adrenergic receptor antagonist propranolol. More importantly, the protein substantially depressed [by 30% (astrocytes) and 50% (microglia)] the large increase in cAMP induced by the beta-adrenergic agonist isoproterenol (10 nM), without affecting that induced by direct adenylate cyclase stimulation by forskolin. Qualitatively similar results were obtained using a glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-positive human glioma cell line. The depression of the beta-adrenergic response had functional consequences in both astrocytes and microglia. In astrocytes we studied the phosphorylation of the two major cytoskeletal proteins, vimentin and GFAP, which is normally stimulated by isoproterenol, and found that gp120 partially (40-50%) prevented such stimulation. In microglial cells, which are the major producers of inflammatory cytokines within the brain, gp120 partially antagonized the negative beta-adrenergic modulation of lipopolysaccharide (10 ng/ml)-induced production of tumor necrosis factor alpha. Our results suggest that, by interfering with the beta-adrenergic regulation of astrocytes and microglia, gp120 may alter astroglial "reactivity" and upset the delicate cytokine network responsible for the defense against viral and opportunistic infections.

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 1993;90;4;1541-5

  • Truncation of recombinant vimentin by ompT. Identification of a short motif in the head domain necessary for assembly of type III intermediate filament proteins.

    Hatzfeld M, Dodemont H, Plessmann U and Weber K

    Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Department of Biochemistry, Goettingen, Germany.

    Recombinant vimentin expressed in E. coli JM 101 cells is cleaved after cell lysis between arginines 11 and 12. The truncated vimentin is assembly incompetent. Expression of the same cDNA construct in BL21 cells, which lack the protease ompT, provides intact and polymerization-competent vimentin. The ompT cleavage site is contained in a short sequence motif (YRRMF) shared by the head domains of type III and IV intermediate filament (IF) proteins. We propose that a related motif present in the N-terminal 32 residues of lambda CII accounts for the known IF formation of a fusion protein formed with a truncated GFAP.

    FEBS letters 1992;302;3;239-42

  • Treatment of Haemophilus aphrophilus endocarditis with ciprofloxacin.

    Dawson SJ and White LA

    Department of Microbiology, Southampton General Hospital, U.K.

    A patient with Haemophilus aphrophilus endocarditis was successfully treated with ciprofloxacin. The response to treatment with cefotaxime and netilmicin for 12 days was poor but was satisfactory to a 6 weeks' course of ciprofloxacin.

    The Journal of infection 1992;24;3;317-20

  • Human glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP): molecular cloning of the complete cDNA sequence and chromosomal localization (chromosome 17) of the GFAP gene.

    Kumanishi T, Usui H, Ichikawa T, Nishiyama A, Katagiri T, Abe S, Yoshida Y, Washiyama K, Kuwano R, Sakimura K et al.

    Department of Neuropathology, Niigata University, Japan.

    We isolated three glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) cDNA clones from a glioma cell line, U-251 MG. One clone isolated from a U-251 MG cDNA library was long, but lacked both ends. Using poly(A)+ RNA and primers synthesized according to the sequence of this clone, we used the polymerase chain reaction-assisted rapid amplification of cDNA ends (PCR-RACE) method, which is a strategy to isolate cDNA ends, and obtained cDNA clones for the 5' and 3' ends. From the sequences of these overlapping clones, the complete nucleotide sequence of human GFAP cDNA was established. The start (ATG) and the stop (TGA) signals were seen at nucleotide positions 15 and 1311, respectively, and divided the entire sequence of 3027 bp into 14 bp of 5' non-coding, 1296 bp of coding and 1717 bp of 3' non-coding regions. Using cDNA probes made from both the coding and the 3' non-coding regions, Northern blot hybridization was performed with two different stringencies on RNAs from human and rodent brains and human GFAP-positive and -negative cells. It was shown that the 3' non-coding region probe was more specific for human GFAP than the coding region probe which was specific only under higher stringency conditions. This was also suggested by homology analysis of the sequence with those of various intermediate filament proteins. Based on these findings, we performed spot blot hybridization of sorted human chromosomes and Southern blot hybridization of PCR-amplified DNAs of a panel of hamster-human somatic cell hybrids and localized the human GFAP gene to chromosome 17.

    Acta neuropathologica 1992;83;6;569-78

  • Multiple interacting sites regulate astrocyte-specific transcription of the human gene for glial fibrillary acidic protein.

    Besnard F, Brenner M, Nakatani Y, Chao R, Purohit HJ and Freese E

    Laboratory of Molecular Biology, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892.

    The gfa gene encodes glial fibrillary acidic protein, an intermediate filament protein found almost exclusively in astrocytes. Transient transfection studies with a chloramphenicol acetyltransferase reporter gene were used to identify regions of the gfa gene responsible for its expression. Three regions, A, B, and D, were found to be important. The D region is located near the basal promoter, while A and B are next to each other about 1500 bp further upstream. The regions contain several sequences homologous to binding sites of known transcription factors, and in addition, each contains an identical novel 10-bp motif. The A, B, and D regions act in a cell-specific manner; when joined to the SV 40 early promoter, they enhance transcription in the glial cell line U251, but not in the nonglial cell line HepG2. Consistent with this observation, the DNase I footprint produced in these regions by nuclear extract from U251 cells differs from that produced by an extract from HepG2 cells. The B region appears to be the most active of the three, as by itself it stimulates strong cell-specific transcription, whereas addition of the other two regions has little effect. When the B region is at its normal distance from the basal promoter, deletion of D severely reduces transcription, but when B is placed near the promoter, D is unimportant. This suggests that the D region may function primarily to promote interactions that bring B close to the promoter.

    The Journal of biological chemistry 1991;266;28;18877-83

  • Human glial fibrillary acidic protein: complementary DNA cloning, chromosome localization, and messenger RNA expression in human glioma cell lines of various phenotypes.

    Bongcam-Rudloff E, Nistér M, Betsholtz C, Wang JL, Stenman G, Huebner K, Croce CM and Westermark B

    Department of Pathology, University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden.

    Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) is a constituent of intermediate filaments of glial cells of the astrocyte lineage. We cloned a human GFAP complementary DNA, deduced the amino acid sequence, and established the chromosomal location (17q21) of the GFAP gene by Southern blot hybridization of somatic cell hybrids and by in situ hybridization. The authenticity of the complementary DNA was proven by expressing it in glioma cells lacking endogenous GFAP; after microinjection of the complementary DNA, such cells became positive for staining with GFAP antibodies. The levels of fibronectin (FN) and GFAP mRNA of ten human glioblastoma cell lines, determined by Northern blot hybridization of RNA, were related to other phenotypic characteristics [cell morphology and expression of the genes encoding platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) receptors]. A high expression of GFAP mRNA was found only in cells lacking fibronectin mRNA and protein. Glioma cells with a fibroblastic phenotype (bipolar, FN+/GFAP-) were found to express both types of PDGF receptors (alpha and beta). Relatively high levels of PDGF alpha-receptor mRNA, in the absence of beta-receptor expression, were found in cell lines that express GFAP and lack detectable levels of fibronectin mRNA. The findings are compatible with the idea that the genes encoding PDGF receptors in glioma cells are regulated in concert with other genes, the expression of which may reflect the developmental program of normal glia cell lineages.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA 25875, CA 39860

    Cancer research 1991;51;5;1553-60

  • Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 protease cleaves the intermediate filament proteins vimentin, desmin, and glial fibrillary acidic protein.

    Shoeman RL, Höner B, Stoller TJ, Kesselmeier C, Miedel MC, Traub P and Graves MC

    Max-Planck-Institut für Zellbiologie, Abteilung Traub, Rosenhof, Federal Republic of Germany.

    The intermediate filament proteins vimentin, desmin, and glial fibrillary acidic protein are cleaved in vitro by human immunodeficiency virus type 1 protease (HIV-1 PR). Microsequencing showed that HIV-1 PR cleaved both human and murine vimentin between leucine-422 and arginine-423 within the sequence between positions 418 and 427, Ser-Ser-Leu-Asn-Leu/Arg-Glu-Thr-Asn-Leu (SSLNL/RETNL). Minor cleavages at other sites were also observed. Heat-denatured vimentin was cleaved by HIV-1 PR less efficiently than native vimentin. A decapeptide containing the sequence SSLN-LRETNL was also cleaved in vitro by HIV-1 PR as predicted. The presence of a charged residue (arginine) at the primary cleavage site distinguishes this from other known naturally occurring cleavage sites. Microinjection of HIV-1 PR into cultured human fibroblasts resulted in a 9-fold increase in the percentage of cells with an altered and abnormal distribution of vimentin intermediate filaments. Most commonly, the intermediate filaments collapsed into a clump with a juxtanuclear localization. These results support the possibility that intermediate filament proteins may serve as substrates within HIV-1-infected cells.

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 1990;87;16;6336-40

  • Ca2(+)-calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II phosphorylates various types of non-epithelial intermediate filament proteins.

    Tokui T, Yamauchi T, Yano T, Nishi Y, Kusagawa M, Yatani R and Inagaki M

    Laboratory of Experimental Radiology, Aichi Cancer Center Research Institute, Japan.

    We have investigated the actions of Ca2(+)-calmodulin (CaM)-dependent protein kinase II on various types of non-epithelial intermediate filament proteins, vimentin, desmin, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and neurofilament triplet proteins. Most of these filament proteins could serve as substrates. The effects of phosphorylation on the filamentous structure of vimentin were investigated in sedimentation experiments and by using electron microscopy. The amount of unassembled vimentin increased linearly with increased phosphorylation. However, the extent of the effect of phosphorylation on the potential to polymerize was also affected by the MgCl2 concentration, under conditions for reassembly. The actions of Ca2(+)-CaM-dependent protein kinase II on non-epithelial intermediate filaments under physiological conditions are given attention.

    Biochemical and biophysical research communications 1990;169;3;896-904

  • An RNA polymerase II promoter containing sequences upstream and downstream from the RNA startpoint that direct initiation of transcription from the same site.

    Nakatani Y, Brenner M and Freese E

    Laboratory of Molecular Biology, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892.

    The gfa gene encodes glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), an intermediate-filament protein expressed primarily in glial cells. We have used in vitro transcription studies to show that the basal level of transcription of the human gene encoding GFAP is controlled by two distinct initiators--i.e., promoter elements that direct transcription from a specific start site. One initiator is located about 25 base pairs upstream from the transcription start site, contains a TATA box, and apparently acts together with a sequence found around the transcription start site. The other initiator is located between +11 and +50 bp downstream from the transcription start site. Most of this second region overlaps with the protein-encoding sequence, which starts at bp +17. The sensitivity of transcription to alpha-amanitin indicates that both initiators are used by RNA polymerase II.

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 1990;87;11;4289-93

  • Characterization of human cDNA and genomic clones for glial fibrillary acidic protein.

    Brenner M, Lampel K, Nakatani Y, Mill J, Banner C, Mearow K, Dohadwala M, Lipsky R and Freese E

    National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Bethesda, MD 20892.

    Both a partial cDNA clone and a complete genomic clone have been isolated for human gfa, the gene encoding the major component of astrocyte intermediate filaments, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). The nucleotide sequence of the entire coding region and 102 bp of the 5' flanking DNA was determined. The mRNA start site was identified by primer extension and probe protection experiments, and a novel in vitro transcription and translation procedure was then used to establish that the first ATG in the mRNA initiates GFAP synthesis. The predicted amino-terminal sequence for human GFAP differs greatly from that previously deduced for mouse GFAP from its gene sequence, despite otherwise high homology. This discrepancy was resolved by determining that the published mouse genomic sequence has an incorrect additional base. The corrected sequence produces strong homology between human and mouse GFAP in their predicted amino acid sequences, and suggests that human and mouse GFAP initiate at homologous positions. The beginning sequence deduced here for both proteins is matched closely by that previously obtained for porcine GFAP by direct sequencing of its amino-terminal end. This supports the protein initiation sites proposed, and also indicates that GFAP is not processed at its amino-terminal end.

    Brain research. Molecular brain research 1990;7;4;277-86

  • Phosphorylation sites linked to glial filament disassembly in vitro locate in a non-alpha-helical head domain.

    Inagaki M, Gonda Y, Nishizawa K, Kitamura S, Sato C, Ando S, Tanabe K, Kikuchi K, Tsuiki S and Nishi Y

    Laboratory of Experimental Radiology, Aichi Cancer Center Research Institute, Japan.

    Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), the intermediate filament component of astroglial cells, can serve as an excellent substrate for both cAMP-dependent protein kinase and protein kinase C, in vitro. GFAP phosphorylated by each protein kinase does not polymerize, and the filaments that do polymerize tend to depolymerize after phosphorylation. Dephosphorylation of phospho-GFAP by phosphatase led to a recovery of the polymerization competence of GFAP. Most of the phosphorylation sites for cAMP-dependent protein kinase and protein kinase C on GFAP are the same, Ser-8, Ser-13, and Ser-34. cAMP-dependent protein kinase has one additional phosphorylation site, Thr-7. All the sites are located within the amino-terminal non-alpha-helical head domain of GFAP. These observations pave the way for in vivo studies on organization of glial filaments.

    The Journal of biological chemistry 1990;265;8;4722-9

  • Changes in brain gene expression shared by scrapie and Alzheimer disease.

    Duguid JR, Bohmont CW, Liu NG and Tourtellotte WW

    Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center, Edith N. Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital, Bedford, MA 01730.

    We have isolated two recombinant cDNAs whose corresponding RNAs have an increased abundance in scrapie-infected hamster brain. DNA sequence analysis has shown that these two recombinants represent the genes for sulfated glycoprotein 2 and transferrin. The abundance of sulfated glycoprotein 2 RNA is increased in hippocampus from patients with Alzheimer disease and Pick disease, whereas transferrin RNA is not strongly modulated in these conditions. Expression of two previously identified scrapie-modulated genes, encoding glial fibrillary acidic protein and metallothionein, is also increased in both of these neurodegenerative diseases.

    Funded by: NIA NIH HHS: R01 AG05894-16

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 1989;86;18;7260-4

  • Molecular cloning and primary structure of human glial fibrillary acidic protein.

    Reeves SA, Helman LJ, Allison A and Israel MA

    Molecular Genetics Section, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD 20892.

    Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) is an intermediate-filament (IF) protein that is highly specific for cells of astroglial lineage, although its tissue-specific role is speculative. Determination of the primary structure of this protein should be of importance for understanding the functional role it plays in astroglia. Therefore, we isolated a cDNA clone encoding this protein and determined its nucleotide sequence. The predicted amino acid sequence indicates that GFAP shares structural similarities--particularly in the central rod domain and to a lesser degree in the carboxyl-terminal domain--with other IF proteins found in nonepithelial cell types. Considerable sequence divergence in the amino-terminal region of GFAP suggests that the tissue-specific functions of this IF protein might be mediated through this region of the molecule. In contrast, conservation of structural characteristics and a moderate degree of sequence conservation in the carboxyl-terminal region suggest functional similarities. Blot hybridization analysis using the GFAP cDNA as a probe failed to detect GFAP mRNA in both normal and neoplastic human tissues in which IF proteins other than GFAP are known to be expressed.

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 1989;86;13;5178-82

Gene lists (4)

Gene List Source Species Name Description Gene count
L00000059 G2C Homo sapiens BAYES-COLLINS-HUMAN-PSD-CONSENSUS Human cortex PSD consensus 748
L00000061 G2C Homo sapiens BAYES-COLLINS-MOUSE-PSD-CONSENSUS Mouse cortex PSD consensus (ortho) 984
L00000069 G2C Homo sapiens BAYES-COLLINS-HUMAN-PSD-FULL Human cortex biopsy PSD full list 1461
L00000071 G2C Homo sapiens BAYES-COLLINS-MOUSE-PSD-FULL Mouse cortex PSD full list (ortho) 1556
© G2C 2014. The Genes to Cognition Programme received funding from The Wellcome Trust and the EU FP7 Framework Programmes:
EUROSPIN (FP7-HEALTH-241498), SynSys (FP7-HEALTH-242167) and GENCODYS (FP7-HEALTH-241995).

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