To determine whether intracellular uptake of spermine is necessary to induce haemoglobin synthesis in murine erythroleukaemia (MEL) DS 19 cells, we used single-step selection for resistance to N1,N12-bis(ethyl)spermine (BESM), a cytotoxic spermine analogue, to isolate clones deficient in polyamine transport. The cells were approximately 500-fold more resistant to BESM than parental cells and were unable to accumulate BESM, putrescine, spermidine or spermine. Addition of spermine to the polyamine-transport-deficient cells failed to induce haemoglobin synthesis. Hexamethylene-1,6-bisacetamide, a well-known differentiating agent, induced haemoglobin synthesis in both parental and resistant cells. Polyamine-transport-deficient cells transfected with DNA purified from the parental cell line were further selected for their ability to grow in the presence of alpha-difluoromethylornithine and putrescine. The transfectants had an active transport system for polyamines, and spermine added to their culture medium accumulated inside the cells and induced haemoglobin production. These findings indicate that intracellular spermine uptake is required to induce haemoglobin production in MEL cells.
- © 1995 The Biochemical Society, London