Activation of the mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase pathway has been associated with both cell proliferation and differentiation. Constitutively activated forms of Mek (MAP kinase/Erk kinase) and Erk (MAP kinase) have been previously shown capable of inducing differentiation or proliferation in nonhematopoietic cells. To specifically examine the role of Erk activation in megakaryocytic growth and development, we activated the MAP kinase pathway by the transfection of constitutively activated Mek or Erk cDNA into a human megakaryoblastic cell line, CMK, by electroporation. The CMK transfectant clones that expressed constitutively activated Mek or Erk showed morphologic changes of differentiation. Transfected cells also showed expression of mature megakaryocytic cell surface markers. The MAP kinase pathway was also activated by treatment of the bematopoietic cells with a cytokine that activates Erk. The treatment of CMK cells with stem cell factor (SCF) caused MAP kinase activation and induced differentiation by the expression of mature megakaryocytic cell surface markers. The effects of the SCF treatment were inhibited by pretreatment with a specific inhibitor of the MAP kinase pathway, PD98059. In this report, we conclude that activation of the MAP kinase pathway was both necessary and sufficient to induce differentiation in this megakaryoblastic cell line.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology