Human GFAP is a 49,749 dalton protein (432 amino acids) expressed in astrocytes. GFAP is an intermediate filament protein and acts as an intracellular structural component of the cytoskeleton. During embryonic and fetal life, GFAP is also expressed by radial glial cells of the CNS. Various mutations of the GFAP gene in humans produce Alexander's disease, one of the leukodystrophies.
Antibodies to GFAP are therefore very useful as markers of astrocytic cells and neural stem cells. In addition many types of brain tumor, presumably derived from astrocytic cells, heavily express GFAP.
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- Chelsea M. Larabee, Constantin Georgescu, Jonathan D. Wren and Scott M. Plafke. (2015). Expression profiling of the ubiquitin conjugating enzyme UbcM2 in murine brain reveals modest age-dependent decreases in specific neurons. BMC Neuroscience, 201516:76. doi: 10.1186/s12868-015-0194-y
- Frances Y. Cheng, Xi Huang, Anuraag Sarangi, Tatiana Ketova, Michael K. Cooper, Ying Litingtung, Chin Chiang. (2012). Widespread Contribution of Gdf7 Lineage to Cerebellar Cell Types and Implications for Hedgehog-Driven Medulloblastoma Formation. PLoS ONE, 7(4): e35541. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0035541
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