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Cell Growth Differ. 1998 Jun;9(6):487-96.

Thrombopoietin supports in vitro erythroid differentiation via its specific receptor c-Mpl in a human leukemia cell line.

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


Thrombopoietin (TPO) acts on megakaryopoiesis and erythropoiesis in vitro and in vivo. We isolated a novel subline, UT-7/GMT, from the human leukemia cell line UT-7/GM (N. Komatsu, et al., Blood, 89: 4021-4033, 1997). A small population of UT-7/GM cells positively stained for hemoglobin (Hb) after a 7-day exposure to TPO. More than 50% of TPO-treated UT-7/GMT cells positively stained for Hb. Using UT-7/GMT cells, we examined how TPO promotes hemoglobinization. TPO induced tyrosine phosphorylation of the TPO receptor but not the erythropoietin (EPO) receptor. There was no competition between TPO and EPO for binding to EPO receptor. These findings suggest that TPO has a direct effect on hemoglobinization via a specific receptor on UT-7/GMT cells. Isoelectric focusing demonstrated that TPO induced fetal and adult Hb synthesis, whereas EPO induced embryonic, fetal, and adult Hb synthesis. Thus, our data suggest that TPO has a distinct action on erythropoiesis.

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