Regulation of 5-aminolevulinate synthase in mouse erythroleukemia cells is different from that in liver

C. J. Elferink, S. Sassa, B. K. May

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27 Scopus citations


We have measured the transcriptional gene activity of 5-aminolevulinate synthase, the first enzyme of the heme biosynthetic pathway, together with corresponding mRNA and protein levels in mouse erythroleukemic cells induced to differentiate with dimethyl sulfoxide. When the heme biosynthetic pathway was blocked by succinylacetone there was a large increase in both 5-aminolevulinate synthase activity and protein levels, and this was reversed by the addition of exogenous hemin. Transcriptional activity of the 5-aminolevulinate synthase gene and mRNA levels were both significantly increased during differentiation of cells by dimethyl sulfoxide but were not markedly altered by succinylacetone or hemin treatment. The results demonstrate that levels of 5-aminolevulinate synthase in mouse erythroleukemic cells are regulated by a significant post-transcriptional mechanism possibly at the translational level. Evidence is also presented for a less significant post-transcriptional control by heme of mRNA levels for 5-aminolevulinate synthase. These results indicate that the regulation of 5-aminolevulinate synthase in differentiating erythroid cells is complex but differs from that in liver cells where heme controls to level of 5-aminolevulinate synthase by acting primarily to inhibit gene transcription.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13012-13016
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number26
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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