The potential roles of aquaporin 4 in malignant gliomas

Yu-Long Lan _, Xun Wang, Jia-Cheng Lou, Xiao-Chi Ma and Bo Zhang

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:32345-32355. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.16017

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Yu-Long Lan1,2,3,4,*, Xun Wang1,4,*, Jia-Cheng Lou1, Xiao-Chi Ma2 and Bo Zhang1

1 Department of Neurosurgery, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Dalian Medical University, Dalian, China

2 Department of Pharmacy, Dalian Medical University, Dalian, China

3 Department of Physiology, Dalian Medical University, Dalian, China

4 Department of Neurosurgery, The Third People’s Hospital of Dalian, Non-Directly Affiliated Hospital of Dalian Medical University, Dalian, China

* These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Bo Zhang, email:

Xiao-Chi Ma, email:

Keywords: AQP4, orthogonal arrays of particles, glioma, expression, regulation

Received: November 25, 2016 Accepted: February 22, 2017 Published: March 08, 2017


Aquaporin 4 (AQP4) is the major water channel expressed in the central nervous system and is primarily expressed in astrocytes. Recently, accumulated evidence has pointed to AQP4 as a key molecule that could play a critical role in glioma development. Discoveries of the role of AQP4 in cell migration suggest that AQP4 could be a significant factor regarding glioma malignancies. However, the AQP4 expression levels in glioma have not been fully elucidated; furthermore, the correlation of AQP4 expression with glioma malignancy remains controversial. Here, we review the expression pattern and predictive significance of AQP4 in malignant glioma. The molecular mechanism of AQP4 as it pertains to the migration and invasion of human glioma cells has been summarized. In addition, the important roles of AQP4 in combating drug resistance as well as potential pharmacological blockers of AQP4 have been systematically discussed. More research should be conducted to elucidate the potential roles of AQP4 in malignant glioma for identifying the tumor type, progression stages and optimal treatment strategies. The observed experimental results strongly emphasize the importance of this topic for future investigations.

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