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Exp Cell Res. 1998 Feb 1;238(2):407-14.

A role for the MEK/MAPK pathway in PMA-induced cell cycle arrest: modulation of megakaryocytic differentiation of K562 cells.

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Department of Cell Biology, Parke-Davis Pharmaceutical Research Division of Warner-Lambert Company, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48105, USA.


In vitro megakaryocytic differentiation of the pluripotent K562 human leukemia cell line is induced by PMA. Treatment of K562 cells with PMA results in growth arrest, polyploidy, morphological changes, and increased cell-cell and cell-substrate adhesion. These PMA-induced changes in K562 cells are preceded by a rapid rise in the activity of MEK (MAP kinase/extracellular regulated kinases) that leads to a sustained activation of ERK2 (extracellular regulated kinase; MAPK). Blockade of MEK1 activation by PD098059, a recently described specific MEK inhibitor [D. T. Dudley et al. (1995). Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 92, 7686-7689], reverses both the growth arrest and the morphological changes of K562 cells induced by PMA treatment. These changes are not associated with a disruption of PMA-induced down-regulation of BCR-ABL kinase or early integrin signaling events but are associated with a block of the cell-surface expression of the gpIIb/IIIa (CD41) integrin, a cell marker of megakaryocytic differentiation. These results demonstrate that the PMA-induced signaling cascade initiated by protein kinase C activation requires the activity of the MEK/ERK signaling complex to regulate cell cycle arrest, thus regulating the program that leads to the cell-surface expression of markers associated with megakaryocytic differentiation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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