The mechanism of commitment of murine erythroleukemia (MEL) cells to terminal differentiation has been examined. Before a significant proportion of cells becomes committed, a lag period of at least 9 hr of exposure to inducer is observed. Cells withdrawn from inducer can reinitiate commitment without a lag when reexposed. The proportion of committed cells in a culture discontinuously exposed to inducer is identical to that in a continuously exposed culture even if withdrawal from inducer lasts for 18 hr. The ability to tolerate an interruption in the exposure has been termed "memory." The memory of a previous exposure to inducer is complete up to 18 hr. It is partially erased after 36 hr and completely erased after 72 hr. The length of time the memory persists is not affected by the length of the initial exposure to inducer. These results suggest that a cellular component necessary for the commitment event accumulates in response to inducer and that this component has a decay time on the order of 10 hr.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)