The ability of the synthetic cationic polypeptide POIY-L-lysine (PLL) to induce differentiation of Friend murine erythroleukemia cells was examined with the use of polymers of different molecular weights. Like other membrane-interacting agents (polar solvents), all the polymers tested were effective in inducing cell differentiation. This effect was found to be molecular weight dependent, as already reported for other membrane-related actions of these polymers. Since anthracyclines also exert direct effects on the cell membrane, the activity of the daunorubicin-PLL conjugate was also examined. The covalent linking of the drug to the polyamino acid somewhat reduced, the differentiation-inducing activity in this system. Indeed, free daunorubicin was found to inhibit the maturational process. Although the inducing effect wa- observed when the free PLL or daunorubicin-linked PLL was added alone, polymers enhanced differentiation produced by suboptimal concentrations of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO). Since PLL was inactive as an initiator of the maturation of a DMSO-resistant line, it is likely that some events (presumably membrane-related effects) involved in the multistep stimulation process are common to polar-planar solvents and the polycationic polymer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research