Abstract

A panel of 164 continuous human leukemia-lymphoma cell lines was analyzed for expression of c-kit using Northern blotting and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The c-kit transcripts were detectable in cell lines assigned to the myeloid (in 7 of 29 by Northern blotting and in 4 of 8 by RT-PCR), monocytic (in 1 of 24 by Northern blotting and in 3 of 6 by RT-PCR), erythroid (in 6 of 8 by Northern blotting and in 5 of 5 by RT-PCR), and megakaryoblastic (in 10 of 10 by Northern blotting) lineages, c-kit expression was not seen by Northern blotting or RT-PCR analysis in any of the 93 lymphoid leukemia, myeloma, or lymphoma cell lines. Treatment of four megakaryoblastic cell lines with protein kinase C activators (phorbol ester 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol 13-acetate and Bryostatin 1) led to terminal differentiation as assessed by morphologic alterations, changes in the surface marker profile, and growth arrest. These effects were associated with enhanced c-kit mRNA expression. Exposure to all- trans retinoic acid down-regulated c-kit mRNA levels, while simultaneously causing morphologic alterations in all four cell lines. Stimulation with growth factors (interleukin-3, granulocyte macrophage- colony stimulating factor, and insulin-like growth factors I and II), used to assess any role of c-kit in proliferative processes, did not lead to significant upregulation or downregulation of c-kit expression. The finding of constitutive and high expression of c-kit mRNA in all megakaryoblastic leukemia cell lines and its modulation by various reagents might further contribute to the understanding of megakaryopoietic proliferation, differentiation, and leukemogenesis.

This content is only available as a PDF.