We have established the DU.528 cell line from the pretreatment leukemia cells of a patient who underwent a T lymphoblastic-to-promyelocytic phenotype conversion during treatment with the adenosine deaminase inhibitor, deoxycoformycin. The cell line and clones obtained from it by limiting dilution have the same karyotype previously found in the patient's pretreatment T lymphoblasts and post-deoxycoformycin treatment promyelocytes. DU.528 cells in continuous culture for greater than 2 yr display a predominant undifferentiated T lymphoblastoid phenotype. These cells spontaneously generate progeny of at least three lineages, T lymphoid, granulocytic/monocytic, and erythroid. The surface marker most consistently expressed by DU.528 cells in the undifferentiated state is the 3A1 antigen, which has been found on prothymocytes in the embryonic thymus. Some undifferentiated DU.528 cells also expressed the IL-2 receptor, but no other T cell differentiation antigens. Exposure of DU.528 cells to a variety of agents induced myeloid maturation; adenosine and deoxyadenosine, in the presence of deoxycoformycin, induced expression of myeloid differentiation antigens. Our results suggest that DU.528 is a lymphohematopoietic stem cell line and support the hypothesis that differentiation of pluripotent stem cells may be altered by genetic deficiency of adenosine deaminase. DU.528 cells may provide a useful model for examining factors that regulate stem cell proliferation and differentiation.

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