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Differentiation and retrodifferentiation of U937 cells: reversible induction and suppression of intermediate filament protein synthesis

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Giese,  Günter
Department of Biomedical Optics, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Society;
Light Microscopy Facility, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Hass, R., Giese, G., Meyer, G., Hartmann, A., Dörk, T., Kohler, L., et al. (1990). Differentiation and retrodifferentiation of U937 cells: reversible induction and suppression of intermediate filament protein synthesis. European Journal of Cell Biology: EJCB, 51(2), 265-271. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2351153.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0000-789A-C
Abstract
Significant morphological and functional changes were observed when human monoblastoid U937 tumor cells growing in suspension were induced by the phorbol ester 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) for 72 h to differentiate along the monocyte/macrophage pathway. These include adherence of the cells to each other and to the substratum, alterations in cell-surface antigen expression and cessation of autonomous proliferation. In this study, we show by both, hybridization analysis of RNA and immunoblotting that an enhanced expression of the intermediate filament (IF) subunit proteins vimentin, lamin A and lamin C accompanied the TPA-induced differentiation process. After long-term culture of differentiated U937 cells in the absence of TPA (more than 28 days), however, the adherent cells retracted their pseudopodia, detached and started again to proliferate. This "retrodifferentiation" process, not previously described was paralleled by a rapid down-regulation of both, IF mRNA and protein synthesis back to the level of undifferentiated U937 control cells. These data suggest a functional relationship between the expression of vimentin and lamins A and C and the differentiation process taking place in these cells.