Quantification of glioblastoma progression in zebrafish xenografts: Adhesion to laminin alpha 5 promotes glioblastoma microtumor formation and inhibits cell invasion

John T. Gamble, Yuriyah Reed-Harris, Carrie L. Barton, Jane La Du, Robert Tanguay, Juliet A. Greenwood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Glioblastoma (GBM) is a deadly disease due to its ability to quickly invade and destroy brain tissue. Slowing or stopping GBM cell progression is crucial to help those inflicted with the disease. Our lab created an embryo-larval zebrafish xenograft model as a tool to study human GBM progression in an observable brain environment. The zebrafish brain is a dynamic and complex environment providing an optimal setting for studying GBM cell progression. Here we demonstrate the ability of our model to quantitate GBM proliferation, dispersal, blood vessel association, microtumor formation, and individual cell invasion by evaluating the importance of an extracellular matrix protein, laminin alpha 5 (lama5), on U251MG cell progression. Lama5 has been implicated in cancer cell survival, proliferation and invasion and is a known adhesion site for GBM cells. While lama5 is highly expressed in endothelial cells in the brain, it is unknown how lama5 affects GBM behavior. Using a lama5 morpholino, we discovered that lama5 decreased U251MG dispersal by 23% and doubles the formation of blood vessel dependent microtumors. Despite lama5 being a known attachment site for GBM, lama5 expression had no effect on U251MG association with blood vessels. Analysis of individual U251MG cells revealed lama5 significantly lowered invasion as mobile U251MG cells traveled 32.5 μm less, invaded 5.0 μm/hr slower and initiated invasion 60% few times per cell.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)833-839
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2 2018
Externally publishedYes



  • Glioblastoma
  • ImageJ
  • Invasion
  • Lama5
  • Laminin alpha 5
  • Zebrafish

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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