The human HL-60 myeloid leukaemia cell line developed, during maturational changes induced by dimethyl sulphoxide, an enhanced capacity for phorbol myristate acetate- stimulated oxidative activity and acquired a cytochrome b. Titration of the absorbance at 559 nm at potentials of-190 to -370 mV indicated that this cytochrome had a very low potential, differentiating it from mitochondrial and endoplasmic reticulum cytochromes and identifying it as the cytochrome b(-245) that has been recently found in other phagocytic cells. Subcellular fractionation studies of mature HL-60 cells showed that cytochrome b had a dual distribution within the cell. The lighter peak of activity was associated with the plasma membrane markers, adenylate cyclase and receptors for the N- formal-L-methionyl-L-leucyl-L-phenylalanine (f-Met-Leu-Phe) peptide. The denser components localized with the mitochondria but were distinct from mitochondrial cytochromes because whereas the activity of cytochrome c oxidase fell during HL-60 cell maturation, that of this cytochrome b was markedly increased. Concentrations of myeloperoxidase were unrelated to activity of the oxidase system and decreased as the cell matured. The increase in the concentrations of cytochrome b with cellular maturation parallelled the increase in the stimulated nonmitochondrial respiratory activity of these cells. The turnover of the hexose monophosphate shunt of immature cells was increased by the oxidising agents, methylene blue and tert-butylhydroperoxide, indicating that these immature cells have stimulated nonmitochondrial respiratory activity by maturing HL-60 cells is associated with, and is probably dependent upon, the acquisition by these cells of the cytochrome b(-245) oxidase system.

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