The differentiation of promyelocytic leukemic cells into mature cells is the major strategy for drug-based treatment of leukemia. Higher efficient methods to differentiate promyelocytic leukemic cells have been developed using various differentiation inducers including interferon-α, interleukin-4, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) as a single agent or in combination with each other. Here, we show that a combination of TNF-α with DMSO shows a synergic effect on HL-60 cell differentiation through the activation of ERK pathway. TNF-α enhanced CD11b expression and percent of cell population in the G1 phase induced by DMSO, which are hallmarks for HL-60 cell differentiation. Inhibition of ERK pathway abolished the synergic effect of TNF-α in combination with DMSO on HL-60 differentiation, but the inhibition NF-κB pathway did not. These results suggest that TNF-α synergistically increases DMSO-induced differentiation of HL-60 cells through the activation of ERK/MAPK-signaling pathway.
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Acknowledgments This work was supported by grants of the Korea Science and Engineering Foundation (nos. R01-2002-000-00493-0, R11-2002-100-02007-0, and M10528010003-05N2801-00310) and the grant of Post Doc. Program, Chonbuk National University (K.-S. Lee).
- Leukemic cell differentiation