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

Ascorbate free radical stimulates the growth of a human promyelocytic leukemia cell line.

Ascorbate free radical stimulates the growth of human promyelocytic leukemia cells (HL-60) in the presence of a limited amount of serum (1%) when added to the cells under conditions where it is impermeable. Maximum growth stimulation occurs at concentrations from 5 x 10(-9) to 2 x 10(-8) M. Ascorbate mimicks the stimulation effect of its free radical but stimulates at higher concentrations. Autoxidation of ascorbate by oxygen produces its free radical, which apparently causes growth stimulation. Ascorbate could be regenerated by intact cells in vitro, since prevention of autoxidation of ascorbate in the presence of cells is observed. Neither dehydroascorbate nor isoascorbate increases HL-60 cell growth. Short term incubation of cells in the presence of ascorbate free radical induced intracellular NADH oxidation. We propose that the stimulation of growth of HL-60 cells shown here could be caused by activation of the transplasma membrane electron transport system by the ascorbate free radical.[1]


  1. Ascorbate free radical stimulates the growth of a human promyelocytic leukemia cell line. Alcaín, F.J., Burón, M.I., Rodríguez-Aguilera, J.C., Villalba, J.M., Navas, P. Cancer Res. (1990) [Pubmed]
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