Inhibition of dimethyl sulfoxide-induced differentiation of Friend erythroleukemic cells by 5'-methylthioadenosine

P. P. Di Fiore, M. Grieco, A. Pinto, V. Attadia, M. Porcelli, G. Cacciapuoti, M. Cartenì-Farina

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5'-Methylthioadenosine is a sulfur-containing nucleoside derived from the metabolism of polyamines which is known to exert an antiproliferative effect on several cell systems in vitro, including the Friend leukemia cell system. We have investigated the role of 5'-methylthioadenosine on the dimethyl sulfoxide-induced differentiation of this system. At a concentration of 400 μM, the drug strongly inhibited (80%) the induced differentiation of Friend cells, and this effect was already observable at a concentration as low as 10 μM (36% inhibition), as evidenced by the benzidine staining procedure and by the dot-blot hybridization of globin mRNA with a human β-globin probe. Similar results have been obtained by using 5'-S-isobutylthioadenosine, which is a synthetic structural analogue of 5'-methylthioadenosine. The block of differentiation produced by these nucleosides was not mediated by adenine (a catabolite of both molecules) and was not reverted by spermine or spermidine, the two polyamines whose synthesis is inhibited by 5'-methylthioadenosine. We report a decrease of the aminopropyltransferases activities (the enzymes responsible for 5'-methylthioadenosine biosynthesis) in dimethyl sulfoxide-treated Friend cells, which could lead to a decrease of the intracellular content of 5'-methylthioadenosine during the erythroid maturation of Friend cells. The results obtained are consistent with the hypothesis that 5'-methylthioadenosine may act as an endogenous regulator of Friend cell differentiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4096-4103
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Research
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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