[[abstract]]Tanshinone derivative compounds, isolated from Salvia miltiorrhiza Bunge (Labiatae), have been reported as microtubule inhibitors with antimitotic activity. In this study, we examined the growth-inhibiting and differentiation-inducing effect of these compounds on human leukemic HL-60 cells. The expression of protein kinase C (PKC) and proto-oncogenes in 278E-treated cells was also assessed. All tanshinone derivative compounds exhibited growth-inhibitory effects on HL-60 cells, but only 278E induced cell differentiation. Morphological observation of 278E-treated HL-60 cells showed a greater percentage of monocytes and macrophages (Mo/Mphi). Treatment with 5 mug/ml 278E resulted in a marked increase in the percentages of superoxide-producing (up to 95.5 +/- 1.8%) and non-specific esterase-positive cells (up to 80.3 +/- 9.1%). The differentiated cells also expressed cell surface antigens characteristic of Mo/Mphi, including CD11b, CD14 and CD68. Neither cellular changes in isozymes of PKC nor translocation of these isozymes from cytosol to cell membrane were seen in 278E-treated HL-60 cells. 278E caused a clownregulation of c-myc as well as an up-regulation of c-fms, c-jun and c-fos. (C) 2005 Lippincott Williams Wilkins
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