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There is growing evidence that dipeptidyl peptidase IV [DPP-IV, EC 22.214.171.124] takes part in the metabolism of biologically active peptides participating in the regulation of growth and transformation of glial cells. However, the knowledge on the DPP-IV expression in human glial and glioma cells is still very limited. In this study, using histochemical and biochemical techniques, the DPP-IV activity was demonstrated in two commercially available human glioma cell lines of different transformation degree, as represented by U373 astrocytoma (Grade III) and U87 glioblastoma multiforme (Grade IV) lines. Higher total activity of the enzyme, as well as its preferential localisation in the plasma membrane, was observed in U87 cells. Compared to U373 population, U87 cells were morphologically more pleiomorphic, they were cycling at lower rate and expressing less Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein. The data revealed positive correlation between the degree of transformation of cells and activity of DPP-IV. Great difference in expression of this enzyme, together with the phenotypic differences of cells, makes these lines a suitable standard model for further 57 studies of function of this enzyme in human glioma cells.
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