GFAP isoforms control intermediate filament network dynamics, cell morphology, and focal adhesions.

A1 Journal article (refereed)

Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: Moeton M, Stassen OMJA, Sluijs JA, van der Meer VWN, Kluivers LJ, van Hoorn H, Schmidt T, Reits EAJ, van Strien ME, Hol EM
Publication year: 2016
Journal: Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Journal acronym: Cell Mol Life Sci
Volume number: 73
Issue number: 21
Start page: 4101
End page: 4120
ISSN: 1420-9071


Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) is the characteristic intermediate filament (IF) protein in astrocytes. Expression of its main isoforms, GFAPα and GFAPδ, varies in astrocytes and astrocytoma implying a potential regulatory role in astrocyte physiology and pathology. An IF-network is a dynamic structure and has been functionally linked to cell motility, proliferation, and morphology. There is a constant exchange of IF-proteins with the network. To study differences in the dynamic properties of GFAPα and GFAPδ, we performed fluorescence recovery after photobleaching experiments on astrocytoma cells with fluorescently tagged GFAPs. Here, we show for the first time that the exchange of GFP-GFAPδ was significantly slower than the exchange of GFP-GFAPα with the IF-network. Furthermore, a collapsed IF-network, induced by GFAPδ expression, led to a further decrease in fluorescence recovery of both GFP-GFAPα and GFP-GFAPδ. This altered IF-network also changed cell morphology and the focal adhesion size, but did not alter cell migration or proliferation. Our study provides further insight into the modulation of the dynamic properties and functional consequences of the IF-network composition.


astrocytoma, FRAP, GFAP, intermediate filaments

Last updated on 2020-04-06 at 05:57