Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) is an intermediate filament (IF) protein that was thought to be specific for astrocytes in the central nervous system (CNS). Later, it was shown that GFAP is also expressed by other cell types in CNS, including ependymal cells. GFAP has also been located in rat kidney glomeruli and peritubular fibroblasts, leydig cells of testis, skin keratinocytes, osteocytes of bones, chondrocytes of epiglottis, bronchus, and stellate-shaped cells of the pancreas and liver.
It is closely related to its non-epithelial family members, vimentin, desmin, and peripherin, which are all involved in the structure and function of the cell’s cytoskeleton. GFAP is thought to help to maintain astrocyte mechanical strength, as well as the shape of cells but its exact function remains poorly understood, despite the number of studies using it as a cell marker.
Storage: Store at -20 °C for one year. Avoid repeated freeze/thaw cycles.