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Leuk Res. 1990;14(5):467-74.

Inhibition of TPA-induced monocytic differentiation in THP-1 human monocytic leukemic cells by staurosporine, a potent protein kinase C inhibitor.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48201.


THP-1 is a factor-indepencent, monocytic leukemia cell line which differentiates into adherent macrophages upon treatment with 12-O-tetra-decanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA). Unlike its normal counterparts, THP-1 cells display only minimal levels of proto-oncogene c-FMS RNA which encode for membrane M-CSF receptors. Northern blot analysis showed that the c-FMS mRNA levels in THP-1 cells was greatly enhanced during TPA-induced monocytic differentiation. Despite the acquisition of functional activities and induction of c-FMS transcripts after TPA treatment, no surface M-CSF receptors were detected on the THP-1 cells. The inducing activity associated with TPA was completely abrogated when THP-1 cells were pretreated with staurosporine, a potent protein kinase C (PK-C) inhibitor. It is concluded that the activation of the PK-C system is a part of the metabolic cascade essential for the initiation of monocytic differentiation in THP-1 cells.

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