The phenotypic effects of selectively altering the levels of alpha B-crystallin in cultured glial cells were analyzed using sense and antisense approaches. Rat C6 glioma cells and human U-373MG glioma cells were transfected with a rat alpha B-crystallin sense cDNA or an antisense cDNA regulated by a Rous sarcoma virus promoter to alter cellular levels of alpha B-crystallin. The antisense strategy resulted in decreased alpha B-crystallin levels, as revealed by Western blot and immunocytochemical analyses. The reduced alpha B-crystallin expression was accompanied by alterations in cellular phenotype: (a) a reduction of cell size and/or a slender cell morphology; (b) a disorganized microfilament network; and (c) a reduction of cell adhesiveness. Like HSP27, the presence of additional alpha B-crystallin protein confers a thermoresistant phenotype to stable transfectants. Thus, alpha B-crystallin in glioma cells plays a role in their thermal resistance and may contribute to the stability of cytoskeletal organization.

This content is only available as a PDF.