Prion Protein in Glioblastoma Multiforme

Larisa Ryskalin, Carla L Busceti, Francesca Biagioni, Fiona Limanaqi, Pietro Familiari, Alessandro Frati, Francesco Fornai

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The cellular prion protein (PrPc) is an evolutionarily conserved cell surface protein encoded by the PRNP gene. PrPc is ubiquitously expressed within nearly all mammalian cells, though most abundantly within the CNS. Besides being implicated in the pathogenesis and transmission of prion diseases, recent studies have demonstrated that PrPc contributes to tumorigenesis by regulating tumor growth, differentiation, and resistance to conventional therapies. In particular, PrPc over-expression has been related to the acquisition of a malignant phenotype of cancer stem cells (CSCs) in a variety of solid tumors, encompassing pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), osteosarcoma, breast cancer, gastric cancer, and primary brain tumors, mostly glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Thus, PrPc is emerging as a key in maintaining glioblastoma cancer stem cells' (GSCs) phenotype, thereby strongly affecting GBM infiltration and relapse. In fact, PrPc contributes to GSCs niche's maintenance by modulating GSCs' stem cell-like properties while restraining them from differentiation. This is the first review that discusses the role of PrPc in GBM. The manuscript focuses on how PrPc may act on GSCs to modify their expression and translational profile while making the micro-environment surrounding the GSCs niche more favorable to GBM growth and infiltration.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - Oct 15 2019


Dive into the research topics of 'Prion Protein in Glioblastoma Multiforme'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this