We show that vimentin filaments are present in undifferentiated Friend murine erythroleukemia cells, but are lost progressively to undetectable levels by 96 h of dimethyl sulfoxide-mediated differentiation. The amount of newly synthesized cytoskeletal vimentin is decreased dramatically by 24 h of induction, and is paralleled by a rapid loss of vimentin mRNA (approximately 25-fold reduction at 96 h). Hence, disappearance of vimentin filaments in these cells appears to be regulated at the level of vimentin mRNA abundance. On the other hand, the levels of actin synthesis and actin mRNA remain essentially unchanged. The kinetics of vimentin mRNA reduction during dimethyl sulfoxide-mediated differentiation, and the levels of vimentin mRNA observed in the presence of hexamethylene-bisacetamide or hemin as inducers suggest that the cessation of vimentin expression precedes, but may be associated with commitment to terminal differentiation. Our results demonstrate the dynamic regulation of vimentin expression in mammalian erythropoiesis.

This content is only available as a PDF.