Inhibition of cell proliferation and induction of apoptosis by ExFABP gene targeting

Eddi Di Marco, Nadia Sessarego, Barbara Zerega, Ranieri Cancedda, Fiorella Descalzi Cancedda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ex-FABP, an extracellular fatty acid binding lipocalin, is physiologically expressed by differentiating chicken chondrocytes and myoblasts. Its expression is enhanced after cell treatment with inflammatory stimuli and repressed by anti-inflammatory agents, behaving as an acute phase protein. Chicken liver fragments in culture show enhanced protein expression after bacterial endotoxin treatment. To investigate the biological role of Ex-FABP, we stably transfected proliferating chondrocytes with an expression vector carrying antisense oriented Ex-FABP cDNA. We observed a dramatic loss of cell viability and a strong inhibition of cell proliferation and differentiation. When chondrocytes were transfected with the antisense oriented Ex-FABP cDNA we observed that Ex-FABP down-modulation increased apoptotic cell number. Myoblasts transfected with the same expression vector showed extensive cell death and impaired myotube formation. We suggest that Ex-FABP acts as a constitutive survival protein and that its expression and activation are fundamental to protect chondrocytes from cell death.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)464-473
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Physiology


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