In somatic cell hybrids formed by the fusion of mouse erythroleukemic cells with cultured mouse lymphoma cells, retention of the X chromosome donated by the lymphoma parent is correlated with inhibition of hemoglobin accumulation in response to dimethyl sulfoxide. The inhibition of hemoglobin production was due to an inhibition of globin mRNA accumulation. Heme can partially overcome the effects of the lymphoma X chromosome and induce globin mRNA and hemoglobin accumulation in the dimethylsulfoxide-treated hybrid cells. The data suggests that the X chromosome contributed by the lymphoma cells inhibits hemoglobin production by inhibiting both inducible globin mRNA accumulation as well as inducible heme biosynthesis, most likely at a step after the formation of δ-aminolevulinic acid. The properties of erythroleukemia × lymphoma cell hybrids are compared with those of a series of erythroleukemia × bone marrow cell hybrids. The data indicate the possibility of multiple loci on the X chromosome capable of regulating the expression of erythroid characteristics.
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