Guanylate-Binding Protein 1: An Emerging Target in Inflammation and Cancer

Alexander T. Honkala, Dhanir Tailor, Sanjay V. Malhotra

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Guanylate-binding protein 1 (GBP1) is a large GTPase of the dynamin superfamily involved in the regulation of membrane, cytoskeleton, and cell cycle progression dynamics. In many cell types, such as endothelial cells and monocytes, GBP1 expression is strongly provoked by interferon γ (IFNγ) and acts to restrain cellular proliferation in inflammatory contexts. In immunity, GBP1 activity is crucial for the maturation of autophagosomes infected by intracellular pathogens and the cellular response to pathogen-associated molecular patterns. In chronic inflammation, GBP1 activity inhibits endothelial cell proliferation even as it protects from IFNγ-induced apoptosis. A similar inhibition of proliferation has also been found in some tumor models, such as colorectal or prostate carcinoma mouse models. However, this activity appears to be context-dependent, as in other cancers, such as oral squamous cell carcinoma and ovarian cancer, GBP1 activity appears to anchor a complex, taxane chemotherapy resistance profile where its expression levels correlate with worsened prognosis in patients. This discrepancy in GBP1 function may be resolved by GBP1's involvement in the induction of a cellular senescence phenotype, wherein anti-proliferative signals coincide with potent resistance to apoptosis and set the stage for dysregulated proliferative mechanisms present in growing cancers to hijack GBP1 as a pro- chemotherapy treatment resistance (TXR) and pro-survival factor even in the face of continued cytotoxic treatment. While the structure of GBP1 has been extensively characterized, its roles in inflammation, TXR, senescence, and other biological functions remain under-investigated, although initial findings suggest that GBP1 is a compelling target for therapeutic intervention in a variety of conditions ranging from chronic inflammatory disorders to cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3139
JournalFrontiers in immunology
StatePublished - Jan 24 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • cancer
  • cytokine-induced GTPase
  • guanylate-binding protein 1
  • infection
  • inflammation
  • interferon α (IFN α)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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