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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2015 Feb;32:121-30. doi: 10.1016/j.ceb.2015.02.004. Epub 2015 Mar 2.

Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and the astrocyte intermediate filament system in diseases of the central nervous system.

Author information

1
Department of Translational Neuroscience, Brain Center Rudolf Magnus, University Medical Center Utrecht, 3584 CG Utrecht, The Netherlands; Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, An Institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1105 BA Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences, Center for Neuroscience, University of Amsterdam, 1098 XH Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Electronic address: E.M.Hol-2@umcutrecht.nl.
2
Center for Brain Repair and Rehabilitation, Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, SE-405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden; Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Parkville, Victoria, Australia; Hunter Medical Research Institute, University of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia. Electronic address: Milos.Pekny@neuro.gu.se.

Abstract

Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) is the hallmark intermediate filament (IF; also known as nanofilament) protein in astrocytes, a main type of glial cells in the central nervous system (CNS). Astrocytes have a range of control and homeostatic functions in health and disease. Astrocytes assume a reactive phenotype in acute CNS trauma, ischemia, and in neurodegenerative diseases. This coincides with an upregulation and rearrangement of the IFs, which form a highly complex system composed of GFAP (10 isoforms), vimentin, synemin, and nestin. We begin to unravel the function of the IF system of astrocytes and in this review we discuss its role as an important crisis-command center coordinating cell responses in situations connected to cellular stress, which is a central component of many neurological diseases.

PMID:
25726916
DOI:
10.1016/j.ceb.2015.02.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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