Modulation of T leukemic cell phenotype with phorbol ester

D. Delia, M. F. Greaves, R. A. Newman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A panel of monoclonal antibodies and other markers (e.g., terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase, sheep erythrocyte rosettes, peanut agglutinin) have been used in conjunction with flow cytometry and biochemical analysis to monitor the induction of maturation in human thymic (T) leukaemic cell lines by phorbol ester (TPA). Seven cell lines underwent multiple phenotypic alterations in response to TPA but were unresponsive to synthetic thymic hormones (TP5, FTS) or to other compounds (e.g DMSO, retinoic acid) which induce maturation in other types of leukaemia. The changes parallel those observed in normal T-cell differentiation and partly reflect alterations in glycosyl transferase activity, altered synthesis of proteins and regulation of cell surface receptors (for transferrin) associated with rapid growth and metabolism. These studies further illustrate the reversibility of maturation arrest in human leukaemia and provide support for the view that leukaemia may involve regulatory defects in the coupling of proliferation and maturation. Induction or promotion of terminal differentiation in leukaemic equivalents of T-cell precursors may provide a convenient system for the study of biochemical and molecular events involved in T-cell development and diversification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-31
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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