Variants of the mouse embryo fibroblast X melanoma hybrid clone 100A have been isolated by a procedure that selects against cells that are able to grow in medium containing low concentrations of serum plus insulin. Three variant clones derived from this selection were found to have a much higher serum requirement than the parental clone 100A cells, as evidenced by a very low rate of DNA synthesis and growth in medium containing low concentrations of serum. Two of the variants had approximately double the number of chromosomes as the parental cell line, while one had approximately the same number of chromosomes as the parental cells. One of the variants was very strongly reverted by 5-azacytidine but not by ethyl methanesulfonate, suggesting that it reverted by a nonmutational mechanism such as a stable change in DNA methylation. Analysis of the growth requirements in hormone-supplemented serum-free media of the 100A parent, the INS 471 variant, and revertants of the variant indicated that the variant had a specific deficiency in its growth response to platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF). PDGF dose-response curves obtained with the variant cells were shifted approximately an order of magnitude toward higher PDGF concentrations relative to PDGF dose-response curves obtained with the parental 100A cells. This quantitative increase in PDGF requirement of the INS 471 variant appears to explain the increased serum requirement of this variant. Equilibrium binding experiments performed with 125I-PDGF suggest that the variant does not have a decreased number of PDGF receptors.

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