Erythroid properties of K562 cells. Effect of hemin, butyrate and TPA induction

J. L. Villeval, P. G. Pelicci, A. Tabilio, M. Titeux, A. Henri, F. Houesche, P. Thomopoulos, W. Vainchenker, M. Garbaz, H. Rochant, J. Breton-Gorius, P. A W Edwards, U. Testa

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Two sublines of the human leukemia cell line K562 including the original cell line and three clones have been investigated for their erythroid features. All of them produce embryonic and fetal hemoglobins, glycophorin A, spectrin and true acetylcholinesterase, but to a varying extent among the cell lines. The Hb and glycophorin contents were correlated in the different K562 cell lines, whereas acetylcholinesterase was independently expressed from these two other erythroid markers. Hb accumulation is enhanced by exposure of the cells to 100 μM hemin without a significant modification of the expression of the other erythroid markers. Butyrate greatly increased the activity of acetylcholinesterase, slightly enhanced the production of hemoglobin, but did not modify the expression of glycophorin and spectrin. 12-O-tetradecanoyl-phorbol-13-acetate (TPA) induced an almost complete disappearance of glycophorin, reduced the synthesis of Hb by K562 cells and also abolished the action of hemin on Hb accumulation. Therefore, all the different K562 cell lines exhibit clear erythroid features including acetylcholinesterase. Butyrate or hemin did not induce terminal differentiation of K562 cells, whereas TPA significantly diminished the erythroid phenotype.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)428-435
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental Cell Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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