A Radial Glia Gene Marker, Fatty Acid Binding Protein 7 (FABP7), Is Involved in Proliferation and Invasion of Glioblastoma Cells

Antonella de Rosa, Serena Pellegatta, Marco Rossi, Patrizia Tunici, Letizia Magnoni, Maria Carmela Speranza, Federico Malusa, Vincenzo Miragliotta, Elisa Mori, Gaetano Finocchiaro, Annette Bakker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is among the most deadly cancers. A number of studies suggest that a fraction of tumor cells with stem cell features (Glioma Stem-like Cells, GSC) might be responsible for GBM recurrence and aggressiveness. GSC similarly to normal neural stem cells, can form neurospheres (NS) in vitro, and seem to mirror the genetic features of the original tumor better than glioma cells growing adherently in the presence of serum. Using cDNA microarray analysis we identified a number of relevant genes for glioma biology that are differentially expressed in adherent cells and neurospheres derived from the same tumor. Fatty acid-binding protein 7 (FABP7) was identified as one of the most highly expressed genes in NS compared to their adherent counterpart. We found that down-regulation of FABP7 expression in NS by small interfering RNAs significantly reduced cell proliferation and migration. We also evaluated the potential involvement of FABP7 in response to radiotherapy, as this treatment may cause increased tumor infiltration. Migration of irradiated NS was associated to increased expression of FABP7. In agreement with this, in vivo reduced tumorigenicity of GBM cells with down-regulated expression of FABP7 was associated to decreased expression of the migration marker doublecortin. Notably, we observed that PPAR antagonists affect FABP7 expression and decrease the migration capability of NS after irradiation. As a whole, the data emphasize the role of FABP7 expression in GBM migration and provide translational hints on the timing of treatment with anti-FABP7 agents like PPAR antagonists during GBM evolution.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere52113
JournalPLoS One
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 25 2012


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

de Rosa, A., Pellegatta, S., Rossi, M., Tunici, P., Magnoni, L., Speranza, M. C., Malusa, F., Miragliotta, V., Mori, E., Finocchiaro, G., & Bakker, A. (2012). A Radial Glia Gene Marker, Fatty Acid Binding Protein 7 (FABP7), Is Involved in Proliferation and Invasion of Glioblastoma Cells. PLoS One, 7(12), [e52113]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0052113