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Cell Death Differ. 2010 Dec;17(12):1842-54. doi: 10.1038/cdd.2010.67. Epub 2010 Jun 4.

p22phox-dependent NADPH oxidase activity is required for megakaryocytic differentiation.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain.


Transient reactive oxygen species (ROS) production is currently proving to be an important mechanism in the regulation of intracellular signalling, but reports showing the involvement of ROS in important biological processes, such as cell differentiation, are scarce. In this study, we show for the first time that ROS production is required for megakaryocytic differentiation in K562 and HEL cell lines and also in human CD34(+) cells. ROS production is transiently activated during megakaryocytic differentiation, and such production is abolished by the addition of different antioxidants (such as N-acetyl cysteine, trolox, quercetin) or the nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase inhibitor diphenylene iodonium. The inhibition of ROS formation hinders differentiation. RNA interference experiments have shown that a p22(phox)-dependent NADPH oxidase activity is responsible for ROS production. In addition, the activation of ERK, AKT and JAK2 is required for differentiation, but the activation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase and c-Jun N-terminal kinase seems to be less important. When ROS production is prevented, the activation of these signalling pathways is partly inhibited. Taken together, these results show that NADPH oxidase ROS production is essential for complete activation of the main signalling pathways involved in megakaryocytopoiesis to occur. We suggest that this might also be important for in vivo megakaryocytopoiesis.

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