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Exp Hematol. 1992 Oct;20(9):1055-60.

Vanadate mimics the effect of stem cell factor on highly purified human erythroid burst-forming units in vitro, but not the effect of erythropoietin.

Experimental hematology

C H Dai, S Krantz


  1. Department of Medicine, Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee.

PMID: 1281783


When orthovanadate, an inhibitor of protein tyrosine phosphatase activity, was added to highly purified human blood erythroid burst-forming units (BFU-E) a marked increase in the number and size of erythroid bursts was evident at an optimum concentration of 4 microM. Because BFU-E are stimulated by stem cell factor (SCF), interleukin 3 (IL-3), and erythropoietin (EP), this effect could occur through an enhancement of any one of these pathways. However, no effect was observed on human erythroid colony-forming units (CFU-E), indicating that vanadate was not potentiating the effect of EP. The time course of decline in BFU-E, when vanadate was added in vitro on successive days, followed the time course produced by delayed addition of SCF but not IL-3. In addition, vanadate markedly enhanced the effect of an optimal concentration of IL-3, but it could only enhance the effect of SCF when SCF concentrations were less than optimum. These experiments demonstrate that vanadate markedly stimulates the number and size of human BFU-E in vitro and that it mimics the effect of SCF. Vanadate may be acting as a phosphatase inhibitor that potentiates the kinase activity induced by SCF, but elucidation of its specific biochemical effects on these cells awaits further investigation.

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