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Metallothioneins (MTs), a group of small, cystein-rich proteins, possess various functions, including metal detoxification and homeostasis. We here report new findings on the participation of MT in cellular differentiation processes. MT isogene transcription was significantly increased in phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate (PMA) incubated leukemic DAMI cells, which supports its role in cellular differentiation. To further address this possibility, we constructed one stable MT-2A overexpressing DAMI cell line. Increase of cell size, intracellular granulation and megakaryocytic specific antigen expression such as CD41 and CD42, and arresting cell proliferation have validated the role of MT in differentiation in this cell line.


Pegah Maghdooni Bagheri, Iris Govaerts, Marc De Ley. Role of metallothionein in differentiation of leukemia cells. Molecular biology reports. 2011 Jun;38(5):3017-22

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PMID: 20127519

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