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Int J Hematol. 1996 Dec;65(1):31-40.

Herbimycin A down-regulates messages of cyclin D1 and c-myc during erythroid differentiation of K562 cells.

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  • 1Jikei University, School of Medicine, Aoto Hospital, Department of Internal Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.


The ansamycin antibiotic, herbimycin A, is a potent tyrosine kinase inhibitor, and induces the erythroid differentiation of bcr-abl-possessing K562 cells. The growth of K562 cells was cytostatically reduced to less than 50% of the control level at 48 h by 0.5 microgram/ml of herbimycin A treatment. A total of 12% and 53% of the treated cells were benzidine-positive at 24 h and 48 h, respectively. The percentage of cells in the S phase decreased rapidly from 60% to 15% after 12 h of treatment. The reduction of S phase cells persisted until 24 h, whereas the G1 population conversely increased. Then underphosphorylated retinoblastoma gene product increased from 6 h to 24 h, but returned to baseline at 48 h. Most cell cycle controlling genes were unchanged by herbimycin A treatment. However, both cyclin D1 and c-myc were prominently down-regulated in the early phase of treatment, corresponding to the decline of the S phase population. Cyclin D1 was initially down-regulated to an undetectable level at 6 h, although its expression recovered gradually from 12 h and returned to baseline at 24 h. c-myc was also down-regulated from 1 h to 6 h. These data suggest that signals originating from bcr-abl kinase are at least partly transduced through both c-myc and cyclin D1, and that herbimycin A-induced erythroid differentiation occurs during or after the cessation of growth due to interference with these signals.

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