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Cell Growth & Differentiation, Vol 8, Issue 5 481-493, Copyright © 1997 by American Association of Cancer Research


ARTICLES

Distinct roles of the receptor tyrosine kinases c-ErbB and c-Kit in regulating the balance between erythroid cell proliferation and differentiation

O Wessely, G Mellitzer, M von Lindern, A Levitzki, A Gazit, I Ischenko, MJ Hayman and H Beug
Institute of Molecular Pathology, Vienna, Austria.

In the bone marrow, multipotent and committed hematopoietic progenitors have to closely regulate their balance between sustained proliferation without differentiation (self renewal) and entering a terminal differentiation pathway. A useful model to analyze this regulation at the molecular level is committed avian erythroid progenitors. These are induced to undergo long-term self renewal by the ligand-activated receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) c-ErbB, in cooperation with steroid hormone receptors. This self-renewal induction by c-ErbB even occurs in the presence of differentiation factors (erythropoietin and insulin). Under the same conditions, the RTK c-Kit is unable to sustain erythroid progenitor self renewal, stimulating cell proliferation without arresting terminal differentiation. Two mechanisms are involved in these differential activities of c-Kit and c-ErbB. The first one, differential regulation of receptor expression, proved to be of minor importance, because c-Kit was unable to induce self renewal, even if exogenously expressed from a retrovirus at high levels. Rather our results support the second mechanism, i.e., that receptor-specific signal transduction is responsible for the differential biological activity of c-Kit and c-ErbB: (a) specific tyrosine kinase inhibitors (tryphostins) were found which selectively inhibited the biological function of either c-Kit or c-ErbB in erythroblasts but did not affect ligand-induced autophosphorylation of either RTK; and (b) c-ErbB selectively induced SHC phosphorylation and STAT5 activation. The Ras pathway was similarly activated by c-Kit and c-ErbB. The c-ErbB-specific tyrphostin AG30 specifically blocked STAT5 activation, implicating this signal transducer in c-ErbB-induced self renewal.


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HOME HELP FEEDBACK SUBSCRIPTIONS ARCHIVE SEARCH TABLE OF CONTENTS
Cancer Research Clinical Cancer Research
Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention Molecular Cancer Therapeutics
Molecular Cancer Research Cell Growth & Differentiation
Copyright © 1997 by the American Association of Cancer Research.