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Nature. 1987 Dec 24-31;330(6150):765-7.

Importance of FSH-releasing protein and inhibin in erythrodifferentiation.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Biology, Research Institute of Scripps Clinic, La Jolla, California 92037.


Inhibin is a hypophysiotropic hormone which selectively suppresses the secretion of pituitary follicle-stimulating hormone. It has been isolated from gonadal fluids and characterized as a protein heterodimer consisting of an alpha subunit and one of two beta subunits (beta A or beta B). FSH-releasing protein (FRP), also named activin, is a dimer consisting of two inhibin beta-chains. A factor from conditioned medium of a leukaemia cell line has been isolated which can induce mouse Friend cells to become benzidine-positive, and which shares a similar N-terminal sequence with porcine FRP. In this report, we find that FRP and inhibin modulate both the induction of haemoglobin accumulation in a human erythroleukaemic cell line, K562, and the proliferation of erythroid progenitor cells in human bone marrow culture. These two proteins could constitute a novel humoral regulatory control of erythropoiesis which would involve two types of related protein dimers with functionally opposite effects.

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