Terminal differentiation in cultured friend erythroleukemia cells

Eileen A. Friedman, Carl L. Schildkraut

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1 Scopus citations


Two populations of differentiated, hemoglobin-containing cells have been identified in cultures of Friend murine erythroleukemia cells (Friend cells): terminally differentiated benzidine-positive (B+) cells that are no longer capable of proliferation and are arrested in the G1 phase of the cell cycle, and their precursors, traversing B+ cells which undergo two or three cell divisions before reaching their terminally differentiated state. Thus Friend cells in suspension culture retain a limited capacity to synthesize DNA and divide after commitment to erythroid differentiation. We identified terminally differentiated cells using autoradiography after benzidine staining. We also developed a quantitative flow microfluorometric assay to distinguish cells that are terminally differentiated from those cells committed to differentiation but still capable of proliferation. We developed a purification procedure to isolate terminally differentiated Friend cells. Their DNA content was the same as that of the undifferentiated cells in G1 by both the diphenylamine reaction and a fluorescence assay. No loss of DNA was detected during the differentiation of Friend cells. As many as 72% of the total cells in a culture induced with DMSO (88% B+) were differentiated cells arrested in G1. As a control, a DMSO-resistant line derived from 745A neither differentiated nor arrested in G1 after growth in the presence of DMSO. The results of these studies were obtained using several compounds that induce differentiation and three independently isolated clones of 745A. We also observed arrest of differentiated cells in G1 with the two other well characterized, independently derived erythroleukemia cell lines, F4-1 and T3-C1-2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)901-913
Number of pages13
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1977

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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