Inhibition of phorbol-ester-induced adhesion of differentiating human myeloid leukemic cells by pentamidine-isethionate

Joel Klemes, Miriam Kidron, Michael Mayer, Eitan Fibach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Human myeloid leukemia cells can be induced to differentiate into macrophage-like cells by various phorbol esters, particularly 12-O-tetradecanoyl-phorbol-14-acetate (TPA). In this study, the effect of several known protease inhibitors on TPA-induced differentiation of human acute promyelocytic leukemia cells (line HL-60) was tested. Among the tested compounds, only pentamidine-isethionate (PI), an inhibitor of trypsin-like enzymes, prevented one early marker of differentiation, e.g. cell adherence to plastic and glass surfaces. However, PI failed to affect other markers of differentiation and did not inhibit readherence of scraped and resuspended TPA-treated cells. Exposure to TPA resulted in a decrease in the cellular alkaline proteolytic activity and an increase in the acid proteolytic activity. PI further inhibited the residual activity of the alkaline protease in the 36,000 g pellet fraction of the TPA-treated cells, but did not reduce this activity in control cells. The present results indicate, on the basis of the differential effects of PI, that the emergence of differentiation markers in HL-60 cells following exposure to TPA is independent of the induction of adherence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-145
Number of pages5
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - 1984


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