Inhibition of Growth but not Differentiation of Normal and Leukemic Myeloid Cells by Methylthioadenosine

Michael K. Riscoe, Jurgen Schwamborn, Adolph J. Ferro, Kevin D. Olson, John H. Fitchen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Methylthioadenosine (MTA), a coproduct of polyamine biosynthesis, is known to inhibit proliferation in a variety of cell culture systems. In this paper, we show that while MTA inhibits the growth of the human promyelocytic cell line HL-60, it does not interfere with retinoic acid-induced granulocytic or phorbol ester-induced monocytic differentiation of these cells. MTA also inhibits proliferation induced by colony stimulating activity of normal human granulocytic precursor cells grown in suspension culture but does not suppress terminal differentiation of these cells. In contrast to the lack of effect of MTA on granulocytic differentiation which we report here, others have shown that MTA prevents terminal differentiation of murine erythroleukemia cells. That MTA is a normal cellular constituent which inhibits proliferation but not differentiation of normal granulopoietic cells and may have opposing effects on immature cells of erythroid lineage suggests a possible role for this compound in the regulation of hematopoiesis. In addition, MTA may be useful for studying the process of differentiation in the absence of cell proliferation in granulopoietic cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3830-3834
Number of pages5
JournalCancer Research
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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