Multiple Members of the Retinoic Acid Receptor Family Are Capable of Mediating the Granulocytic Differentiation of HL-60 Cells

Kent A. Robertson, Babak Emami, Lemoyne Mueller, Steven J. Collins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

92 Scopus citations


The complex and diverse biological effects of retinoic acid (RA) are mediated through specific receptors that are members of the steroid hormone family of nuclear transcription factors. The RA receptor family consists of multiple structurally distinct RA receptors, which diverge primarily at the NH2-terminal domain. The evolutionary conservation of this divergent region in individual RA receptors among different species together with their tissue-specific patterns of expression suggest that the biological function and activity of the individual RA receptors may be confined to specific tissues. To test this hypothesis in hematopoietic cells, we used retrovirus-mediated gene transduction to introduce the RA receptors RAR-α, RAR-β, and RAR-γ as well as RXR-α into a mutant subclone of the HL-60 promyelocytic leukemia cell line (designated HL-60R) that is relatively resistant to RA-induced granulocytic differentiation. We found that each of these structurally distinct RA receptors could restore sensitivity of the HL-60R cells to RA. A critical threshold number of transduced receptors per cell appears to be necessary to restore this functional activity. Thus, the capability to mediate granulocytic differentiation of HL-60 cells is shared among distinctly different RA receptors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3743-3749
Number of pages7
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1992


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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