Desferrioxamine inhibits induced erythroid differentiation of human leukemic K-562 cells

Roberto Gambari, Giuseppe Raschellà, Marco Tripodi, Maria Giulia Farace, Antonio Fantoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The iron chelator desferrioxamine reversibly inhibits heme accumulation and globin synthesis in human leukemic K-562 cells induced to express erythroid genes by butyric acid. These results suggest that iron metabolism can modulate globin gene expression. In addition we describe experimental conditions (6.25 μg/ml desferrioxamine) which do not suppress transcription of globin genes and translation of globin mRNA but prevent heme synthesis. Therefore expression of globin genes in butyric acid induced K-562 cells does not require accumulation of heme molecules. Human leukemic K-562 cells cultured with different inducers and treated with desferrioxamine should be used as a useful model system to further analyse the relationship between expression of erythroid genes, iron metabolism and heme accumulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-255
Number of pages7
JournalCell Differentiation
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1983


  • desferrioxamine
  • erythroid differentiation
  • K-562 cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology


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