Maturation of human promyelocytic leukemia cells induced by nicotinamide: evidence of a regulatory role for ADP-ribosylation of chromosomal proteins. Academic Article uri icon


  • We have studied the role of ADP-ribosylation of chromosomal proteins in the regulation of myeloid cell maturation using the HL-60 cell line as a model. Nuclei isolated from this human promyelocytic leukemia cell line contained (ADP-ribose)n synthetase activity, whereas little or no enzymatic activity was detectable in normal human blood neutrophils. Furthermore, the activity of (ADP-ribose)n synthetase was decreased in HL-60 cells when they were induced to mature with retinoic acid (RA). To determine whether reduced (ADP-ribose)n synthetase activity is simply a result of induced maturation or whether it is a necessary precedent event for the maturation process, we evaluated the effects of nicotinamide (NAm) and its methyl derivative, N'-methylnicotinamide (N'-Met-NAm), agents which decrease ADP-ribosylation. Treatment of HL-60 cells with these drugs caused the cells to undergo maturation and to acquire certain of the morphologic, functional, and biochemical characteristics of normal neutrophils. N'-Met-NAm was more potent than NAm in inducing maturation; at a concentration of 0.8 mM, it caused greater than 80% of the cells to mature, whereas a tenfold greater concentration of NAm was required to induce a similar degree of maturation. NAm and N'-Met-NAm also potentiated the maturation of HL-60 cells induced by RA. Exposure of cells to noninducing concentrations of these compounds caused a leftward shift in the dose-response curve for RA; maturation was observed at 10(-11) M RA in the presence of either 2 mM NAm or 0.2 mM N'-Met-NAm while 10(-9) M RA was required to induce maturation in their absence. A leftward shift in the dose response curve for maturation in the presence of low doses of NAm or N'-Met-NAm did not occur with another inducer, dimethyl formamide (DMF). Two enzymes, NAD glycohydrolase and tissue transglutaminase, that are abundant in macrophages, were induced by RA but not by NAm. N'-Met-NAm decreased by about 75% the amount of endogenous (ADP-ribose)n in a selected fraction of chromosomal proteins which included histone H1 and the nonhistone high mobility group proteins. The results of this study support the concept that ADP-ribosylation of chromosomal proteins influences the regulation of human myeloid cell maturation.

published proceedings

  • J Cell Physiol

author list (cited authors)

  • Lucas, D. L., Tanuma, S., Davies, P. J., Wright, D. G., & Johnson, G. S.

citation count

  • 27

complete list of authors

  • Lucas, DL||Tanuma, S||Davies, PJ||Wright, DG||Johnson, GS

publication date

  • November 1984