Pdia3 expression in glioblastoma modulates macrophage/microglia pro-tumor activation

Marta Chiavari, Gabriella Maria Pia Ciotti, Francesco Canonico, Fabio Altieri, Pedro Miguel Lacal, Grazia Graziani, Pierluigi Navarra, Lucia Lisi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The glioblastoma (GB) microenvironment includes cells of the innate immune system identified as glioma-associated microglia/macrophages (GAMs) that are still poorly characterized. A potential role on the mechanisms regulating GAM activity might be played by the endoplasmic reticulum protein ERp57/PDIA3 (protein disulfide-isomerase A3), the modulation of which has been reported in a variety of cancers. Moreover, by using The Cancer Genome Atlas database, we found that overexpression of PDIA3 correlated with about 55% reduction of overall survival of glioma patients. Therefore, we analyzed the expression of ERp57/PDIA3 using specimens obtained after surgery from 18 GB patients. Immunohistochemical analysis of tumor samples revealed ERp57/PDIA3 expression in GB cells as well as in GAMs. The ERp57/PDIA3 levels were higher in GAMs than in the microglia present in the surrounding parenchyma. Therefore, we studied the role of PDIA3 modulation in microglia–glioma interaction, based on the ability of conditioned media collected from human GB cells to induce the activation of microglial cells. The results indicated that reduced PDIA3 expression/activity in GB cells significantly limited the microglia pro-tumor polarization towards the M2 phenotype and the production of pro-inflammatory factors. Our data support a role of PDIA3 expression in GB-mediated protumor activation of microglia.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8214
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2020


  • Glioma
  • IL6
  • Microglia
  • PDIA3
  • Punicalagin
  • STAT3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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