Previous studies have shown that the response of patients with acute myeloid leukemia to induction chemotherapy can be predicted by the species of plasminogen activator that their cells secrete. Patients whose cells secreted tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) only failed to respond to combination chemotherapy. Individuals whose leukemic cells display features of the early progenitor phenotype also respond poorly to therapy. This suggested that the two species of plasminogen activator secreted by leukemic cells might be produced by normal cells at distinct stages of differentiation. These results indicate that the secretion of the two enzyme types is a differentiation-linked property of normal cells with tPA being produced by granulocyte/macrophage progenitors and urokinase by more differentiated cells and by mature neutrophils and macrophages.

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