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Cancer Res. 1991 Jan 1;51(1):341-8.

Establishment and characterization of a human leukemic cell line with megakaryocytic features: dependency on granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, interleukin 3, or erythropoietin for growth and survival.

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Department of Medicine, Jichi Medical School, Tochigi-ken, Japan.


A new human leukemia cell line with megakaryocytic features, designated UT-7, was established from the bone marrow of a patient with acute megakaryoblastic leukemia. Surface marker analysis revealed that the majority of the cells reacted with monoclonal antibodies against platelet glycoprotein Ib (CD42b), glycoprotein IIb/IIIa (CD41a), MY 7 (CD13), MY 9 (CD33), and glycophorin A antigens. Cytogenetic analysis showed a human male near-tetraploid karyotype with a modal chromosome number of 92-96. Flow cytometry-derived DNA histograms demonstrated that the majority of the cells spontaneously contained 4 N DNA ploidy levels. Ultrastructural study showed that platelet peroxidase activity was weakly positive but myeloperoxidase activity was negative. Ferritin and theta-granule, which have been used as ultrastructural markers for the erythroid lineage, could not be detected. In response to phorbol myristate acetate, platelet factor 4 and beta-thromboglobulin, which were specifically synthesized in the process of megakaryocyte maturation, dramatically increased in UT-7 cells. This was accompanied by an increase in cell size, ploidy level, platelet peroxidase activity, and the surface density of glycoprotein IIb/IIIa antigen. These findings suggest that UT-7 is a new leukemic cell line with megakaryocytic features and with the potential to differentiate into cells with more mature megakaryocytic properties in response to phorbol myristate acetate. This cell line showed strict dependency on interleukin 3 (IL-3), granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, or erythropoietin. The maximal effective doses of IL-3, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, and erythropoietin for proliferation in liquid culture were 10 units/ml, 1 ng/ml, and 1 unit/ml, respectively. These concentrations were comparable to the doses that maximally stimulate the clonal growth of normal hemopoietic cells. IL-6 could stimulate the proliferation of UT-7 cells but not maintain the line in long-term culture. UT-7 cells may be a useful model for (a) the analysis of gene regulation of megakaryocytic maturation-associated proteins expressed in the process of megakaryocytic differentiation and (b) the study of signal transduction of hemopoietic factors associated with megakaryocytopoiesis.

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