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

Effects of depletion of intracellular tetrahydrobiopterin in murine erythroleukemia cells.

The biosynthesis of 6(R)-5,6,7,8-tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) in murine erythroleukemia (MEL) cells is almost completely inhibited by 10 mM, 2,4-diamino-6-hydroxypyrimidine (DAHP), which targets GTP cyclohydrolase. The inhibition results in dephosphorylation of the retinoblastoma gene product, prolongation of the G1-phase in the cell cycle, and subsequent commitment to terminal differentiation of MEL cells. Reversal of the processes by repletion of cellular BH4 with biopterin-related compounds including BH4, 7,8-dihydrobiopterin (7,8-BH2), sepiapterin, and 7,8-dihydroneopterin has generated complicated results. Low micromolar exogenous pterin compounds had little or no effect. At 300 microM or higher, the synthesis of hemoglobin by DAHP-induced MEL cells is significantly inhibited by 7,8-dihydrobiopterin and sepiapterin. However, further cell cycle analysis shows that the inhibition of cell differentiation by 7,8-BH2 and sepiapterin may not be due to the reversal of cell proliferation. Inhibition of BH4 biosynthesis in MEL cells by inhibitors of sepiapterin reductase has also been studied. None of the inhibitors that were tested, including N-chloroacetyl-dopamine and N-acetylserotonin, which are specific for sepiapterin reductase, can block MEL cells in G1-phase or induce the cells to commit to terminal differentiation. Furthermore, inhibitors of sepiapterin reductase are found to reduce or to abolish hemoglobin synthesis in differentiating MEL cells induced by hexamethylene bisacetamide. The mechanism for this is not clear. Not all of the effects caused by the depletion of BH4 synthesis can be rescued by repletion of BH4. These results suggest that BH4 may not regulate proliferation or differentiation of MEL cells as previously thought. Its function in MEL cells is still not clear.[1]


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