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Gene Review

GFAP  -  glial fibrillary acidic protein

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Disease relevance of GFAP

  • Although small numbers of tetanus toxin-binding, A2B5+, GFAP+ cells were present in suspensions of freshly dissected, neonatal optic nerves, most of the type 2 astrocytes in cultures of such optic nerves developed from tetanus toxin-binding, A2B5+, GFAP- cells, which were induced to express GFAP by the culture conditions [1].
  • The cytoplasm and fibrous component in the differentiated fibrillary astrocytoma were strongly positive for S-100 protein and GFAP [2].
  • Immunohistochemically, the intracranial MPNST was strongly positive for S-100 protein and vimentin, and in places weakly positive for glial fibrillary acid protein (GFAP) [2].
  • This tumor expressing both NF and GFAP may be histogenetically related to brain tumors of pluripotential cell origin in calves [3].
  • Using this cDNA as a probe we investigated the levels of GFAP expression in ten human glioma cell lines [4].

Psychiatry related information on GFAP


High impact information on GFAP

  • Electron microscopy demonstrated that alpha-crystallin particles could bind to intermediate filaments in a regular fashion, the spacing coinciding with the molecular length of GFAP [6].
  • We find that the alpha-crystallins dramatically inhibit the in vitro assembly of GFAP and vimentin in an ATP-independent manner [6].
  • Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) is a component of glial filaments specific to astroglia [7].
  • We now report the spatial and temporal distributions of four phosphorylated sites in the GFAP molecule during mitosis of astroglial cells, determined by antibodies which can distinguish phosphorylated epitopes from non-phosphorylated-epitopes [7].
  • Using galactocerebroside as a marker of oligodendrocyte differentiation and glial fibrillary acidic protein as a marker of astrocyte differentiation, we show that the acquisition of these marker molecules occurs rapidly in culture and requires both RNA and protein synthesis [8].

Biological context of GFAP


Anatomical context of GFAP


Associations of GFAP with chemical compounds

  • The binding of S-100 protein to GFAP was investigated by fluorescence spectroscopy using acrylodan-S-100 protein and cross-linking experiments using the bifunctional cross-linker, disuccinimidyl suberate [18].
  • Purified GFAP was stoichiometrically labeled at a single cysteine residue with fluorescein-maleimide [11].
  • Pretreatment with DDC potentiated the effect of MPTP in striatum and resulted in substantially greater dopamine depletion, as well as a more pronounced elevation in GFAP [19].
  • 4. After removal of unbound 45Ca2+, GFAP was observed to bind calcium [10].
  • Systemically administered MPP+ decreased heart norepinephrine, but did not alter the striatal levels of dopamine or GFAP, and pretreatment with DDC did not alter these effects, but did increase lethality [19].

Physical interactions of GFAP

  • Annexin II also cosediments with GF and binds to GFAP, although to much smaller extents [20].

Other interactions of GFAP


Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of GFAP


  1. Two types of astrocytes in cultures of developing rat white matter: differences in morphology, surface gangliosides, and growth characteristics. Raff, M.C., Abney, E.R., Cohen, J., Lindsay, R., Noble, M. J. Neurosci. (1983) [Pubmed]
  2. Histopathological and immunohistochemical studies of intracranial nervous-system tumours in four cattle. Yamada, M., Nakagawa, M., Yamamoto, M., Furuoka, H., Matsui, T., Taniyama, H. J. Comp. Pathol. (1998) [Pubmed]
  3. Anaplastic gangliocytoma with eosinophilic cytoplasmic granules in a cow. Kimura, K., Wada, Y., Kondo, H., Ishikawa, Y., Kadota, K. J. Vet. Med. Sci. (1999) [Pubmed]
  4. Differential expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein in human glioma cell lines. Nishiyama, A., Onda, K., Washiyama, K., Kumanishi, T., Kuwano, R., Sakimura, K., Takahashi, Y. Acta Neuropathol. (1989) [Pubmed]
  5. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for human autoantibody to glial fibrillary acidic protein: higher titer of the antibody is detected in serum of patients with Alzheimer's disease. Tanaka, J., Nakamura, K., Takeda, M., Tada, K., Suzuki, H., Morita, H., Okado, T., Hariguchi, S., Nishimura, T. Acta neurologica Scandinavica. (1989) [Pubmed]
  6. Chaperone activity of alpha-crystallins modulates intermediate filament assembly. Nicholl, I.D., Quinlan, R.A. EMBO J. (1994) [Pubmed]
  7. Two different protein kinases act on a different time schedule as glial filament kinases during mitosis. Matsuoka, Y., Nishizawa, K., Yano, T., Shibata, M., Ando, S., Takahashi, T., Inagaki, M. EMBO J. (1992) [Pubmed]
  8. The in vitro differentiation of a bipotential glial progenitor cell. Raff, M.C., Williams, B.P., Miller, R.H. EMBO J. (1984) [Pubmed]
  9. Assembly regulatory domain of glial fibrillary acidic protein. A single phosphorylation diminishes its assembly-accelerating property. Nakamura, Y., Takeda, M., Aimoto, S., Hojo, H., Takao, T., Shimonishi, Y., Hariguchi, S., Nishimura, T. J. Biol. Chem. (1992) [Pubmed]
  10. Characterization and location of divalent cation binding sites in bovine glial fibrillary acidic protein. Yang, Z.W., Kong, C.F., Babitch, J.A. Biochemistry (1988) [Pubmed]
  11. Assembly, disassembly, and exchange of glial fibrillary acidic protein. Nakamura, Y., Takeda, M., Angelides, K.J., Tada, K., Hariguchi, S., Nishimura, T. Glia (1991) [Pubmed]
  12. A monoclonal antibody to the phosphorylated form of glial fibrillary acidic protein: application to a non-radioactive method for measuring protein kinase activities. Yano, T., Taura, C., Shibata, M., Hirono, Y., Ando, S., Kusubata, M., Takahashi, T., Inagaki, M. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. (1991) [Pubmed]
  13. Serum and fibroblast growth factor stimulate quiescent astrocytes to re-enter the cell cycle. Kniss, D.A., Burry, R.W. Brain Res. (1988) [Pubmed]
  14. Choroid plexus papilloma in a Scottish highland cow. Hoenerhoff, M.J., Janovitz, E., Ramos-Vara, J., Kiupel, M. J. Comp. Pathol. (2006) [Pubmed]
  15. Use of a heterologous monoclonal antibody for cloning and detection of glial fibrillary acidic protein in the bovine ventricular ependyma. Bouchard, P., Ravet, V., Meiniel, R., Creveaux, I., Meiniel, A., Vellet, A., Vigues, B. Cell Tissue Res. (1999) [Pubmed]
  16. Astrocytes cultured from mature brain derive from glial precursor cells. Norton, W.T., Farooq, M. J. Neurosci. (1989) [Pubmed]
  17. Transforming growth factor-beta 1 and forskolin modulate gap junctional communication and cellular phenotype of cultured Schwann cells. Chandross, K.J., Chanson, M., Spray, D.C., Kessler, J.A. J. Neurosci. (1995) [Pubmed]
  18. S-100 protein, but not calmodulin, binds to the glial fibrillary acidic protein and inhibits its polymerization in a Ca(2+)-dependent manner. Bianchi, R., Giambanco, I., Donato, R. J. Biol. Chem. (1993) [Pubmed]
  19. Diethyldithiocarbamate potentiates the neurotoxicity of in vivo 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine and of in vitro 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium. Miller, D.B., Reinhard, J.F., Daniels, A.J., O'Callaghan, J.P. J. Neurochem. (1991) [Pubmed]
  20. Calpactin I binds to the glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and cosediments with glial filaments in a Ca(2+)-dependent manner: implications for concerted regulatory effects of calpactin I and S100 protein on glial filaments. Bianchi, R., Garbuglia, M., Verzini, M., Giambanco, I., Donato, R. Biochim. Biophys. Acta (1994) [Pubmed]
  21. Infection of ovine fetal brain cell cultures with cytopathogenic and non-cytopathogenic bovine viral diarrhoea virus. Hewicker-Trautwein, M., Trautwein, G., Moennig, V., Liess, B. Vet. Microbiol. (1992) [Pubmed]
  22. SPARC is expressed by ganglion cells and astrocytes in bovine retina. Yan, Q., Sage, E.H., Hendrickson, A.E. J. Histochem. Cytochem. (1998) [Pubmed]
  23. Tumor necrosis factor-induced proliferation of astrocytes from mature brain is associated with down-regulation of glial fibrillary acidic protein mRNA. Selmaj, K., Shafit-Zagardo, B., Aquino, D.A., Farooq, M., Raine, C.S., Norton, W.T., Brosnan, C.F. J. Neurochem. (1991) [Pubmed]
  24. Characteristics of endothelial cells derived from the blood-brain barrier and of astrocytes in culture. Ghazanfari, F.A., Stewart, R.R. Brain Res. (2001) [Pubmed]
  25. Dissemination of central nervous system tissue during the slaughter of cattle in three Irish abattoirs. Prendergast, D.M., Sheridan, J.J., Daly, D.J., McDowell, D.A., Blair, I.S. Vet. Rec. (2004) [Pubmed]
  26. Collaborative trial for validation of a real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction assay for detection of central nervous system tissues as bovine spongiform encephalopathy risk material: part 1. Abdulmawjood, A., Sch??nenbr??cher, H., B??lte, M. Journal of AOAC International. (2006) [Pubmed]
  27. The cytoskeleton of primary astrocytes in culture contains actin, glial fibrillary acidic protein, and the fibroblast-type filament protein, vimentin. Chiu, F.C., Norton, W.T., Fields, K.L. J. Neurochem. (1981) [Pubmed]
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