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Eur J Cancer. 1991;27(11):1406-11.

Studies of the differentiation properties of camptothecin in the human leukaemic cells K562.

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Department of Cellular and Molecular Sciences, St. George's Hospital Medical School, London, U.K.


Camptothecin, a specific inhibitor of topoisomerase I, caused erythroid differentiation of the human leukaemia cell-line K562, as assessed by benzidine staining at 70 h recovery following a 60 min treatment of the cells. Differentiation was confirmed by increased levels of epsilon-globin and gamma-globin mRNA in the treated cells and was accompanied by down-regulation of c-myb mRNA. Synchronisation of K562 cells by non-cytotoxic doses of methotrexate increased the differentiation induced by camptothecin, without affecting the camptothecin-induced inhibition of cellular proliferation. Camptothecin induction of differentiation and inhibition of proliferation may occur by independent mechanisms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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