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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

A new molecular role for iron in regulation of cell cycling and differentiation of HL-60 human leukemia cells: iron is required for transcription of p21(WAF1/ CIP1) in cells induced by phorbol myristate acetate.

To investigate the role of iron in hematopoiesis, we studied effects of iron deprivation on PMA-induced monocyte/macrophage differentiation in HL-60 cells. Iron deprivation induced by desferrioxamine (DF) blocked PMA-induced differentiation and induced S-phase arrest and apoptosis in up to 60% of cells. Apoptosis was not related to a decrease of bcl-2 or to c-myc overexpression. In the presence of DF, PMA-induced upregulation of the cyclin dependent kinase inhibitor (CDKI), p21(WAF1/ CIP1), was blocked and its expression could be restored in the presence of DF by supplementation with ferric citrate. Furthermore, ferrioxamine (iron saturated DF) did not block induction of p21(WAF1/ CIP1) indicating that the changes were not due to a nonspecific toxic effect of DF. Similarly, hydroxyurea, an inhibitor of ribonucleotide reductase, did not block p21 expression. p21(WAF1/ CIP1) antisense oligonucleotides caused cell cycle alterations similar to DF and p21 overexpression overcame effects of iron deprivation on both cell cycling and differentiation. Therefore, p21 is a key target for the effects of iron deprivation on HL-60 cell cycling and differentiation. Nuclear run-on transcription assays and p21 mRNA half-life studies indicated that iron was required to support transcriptional activation of p21(WAF1/ CIP1) after a PMA stimulus. By contrast, iron deprivation did not inhibit expression of a second CDKI, p27(KIP1). These data demonstrate a new role for iron during monocyte/macrophage differentiation. A key role of iron is to allow induction of p21(WAF1/ CIP1) in response to a differentiation stimulus subsequently blocking cells at the G(1)/S cell cycle interface and preventing premature apoptosis. This effect of iron is independent of its requirement in supporting the activity of the enzyme, ribonucleotide reductase. Because of the central role of p21(WAF1/ CIP1) as regulator of the G(1)/S cell cycle checkpoint this requirement for iron to support p21 expression represents an important mechanism by which iron may modulate hematopoietic cell growth and differentiation. Published 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.[1]


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