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Cell Growth & Differentiation Vol. 10, 639-654, September 1999
© 1999 American Association for Cancer Research

Regulation of c-Myc and Max in Megakaryocytic and Monocytic-Macrophagic Differentiation of K562 Cells Induced by Protein Kinase C Modifiers: c-Myc Is Down-Regulated but Does Not Inhibit Differentiation1

Ana Lerga, Piero Crespo, Maite Berciano, M. Dolores Delgado, Matilde Cañelles, Carmela Calés, Carlos Richard, Eva Ceballos, Pilar Gutierrez, Nuria Ajenjo, Silvio Gutkind and Javier León2

Grupo de Biología Molecular del Cáncer, Departamento de Biología Molecular-Unidad Asociada al Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas del CSIC [A. L., P. C., M. D. D., M. C., E. C., P. G., N. A., J. L.] and Departamento de Anatomía y Biología Celular [M. B.], Universidad de Cantabria, and Servicio de Hematología, Hospital Universitario Marqués de Valdecilla [C. R.], Santander, Spain; Departamento de Bioquímica, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain [C. C.]; and National Institute of Dental Research, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland [S. G.]

We have studied the regulation and role of c-Myc and Max in the differentiation pathways induced in K562 cells by 12-O-tetradecanoyl phorbol-13 acetate (TPA) and staurosporine, an activator and inhibitor, respectively, of protein kinase C (PKC). We found that staurosporine induced megakaryocytic differentiation, as revealed by the cellular ultrastructure, platelet formation, and DNA endoreduplication. In contrast, TPA induced a differentiated phenotype that more closely resembled that of the monocyte-macrophage lineage. c-myc expression was down-regulated in K562 differentiated by both TPA and staurosporine, whereas max expression did not change in either case. Although PKC enzymatic activity was low in cells terminally differentiated with TPA and staurosporine, inhibition of PKC activity by itself did not induce c-myc down-regulation. We conclude that the c-myc gene is switched off as a consequence of the differentiation process triggered by these drugs in a manner independent from PKC. Ectopic overexpression of c-Myc in K562 cells did not affect the monocytic-macrophagic and megakaryocytic differentiation, indicating that c-Myc suppression is not required for these processes in K562. Similarly, both differentiation pathways were not affected by Max overexpression or by concomitant overexpression of c-Myc and Max. This result is in contrast with the inhibition of erythroid differentiation of K562 exerted by c-Myc, suggesting divergent roles for c-Myc/Max, depending on the differentiation pathway.




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Molecular Cancer Research Cell Growth & Differentiation
Copyright © 1999 by the American Association of Cancer Research.