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Neuroscience. 2012 Jan 3;200:130-41. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2011.10.025. Epub 2011 Oct 25.

Microglial stress inducible protein 1 promotes proliferation and migration in human glioblastoma cells.

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Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, 21949-590 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


Microglial activation is a key event in the progression and infiltration of tumors. We have previously demonstrated that the co-chaperone stress inducible protein 1 (STI1), a cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) ligand, promotes glioblastoma (GBM) proliferation. In the present study, we examined the influence of microglial STI1 in the growth and invasion of the human glioblastoma cell line GBM95. We demonstrated that soluble factors secreted by microglia into the culture medium (microglia conditioned medium; MG CM) caused a two-fold increase in the proliferation of GBM95 cells. This effect was reversed when STI1 was removed from the MG CM. In this context, we have shown that microglial cells synthesize and secrete STI1. Interestingly, no difference was observed in proliferation rates when GBM cells were maintained in MG CM or MG CM containing an anti-PrP(C) neutralizing antibody. Moreover, rec STI1 and rec STI1(Δ230-245), which lack the PrP(C) binding site, both promoted similar levels of GBM95 proliferation. In the migration assays, MG CM favored the migration of GBM95 cells, but migration failed when STI1 was removed from the MG CM. We detected metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9) activity in the MG CM, and when cultured microglia were treated with an anti-STI1 antibody, MMP-9 activity decreased. Our results suggest that STI1 is secreted by microglia and favors tumor growth and invasion through the participation of MMP-9 in a PrP(C)-independent manner.

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