Leukemia-associated inhibitory activity suppresses colony and cluster formation in vitro cells derived from granulocyte-macrophage progenitor cells of normal donors. It does not inhibit these same progenitor cells from patients with leukemia and it may contribute to the proliferative advantage leukemia cells appear to possess over normal hematopoietic cells during acute leukemia. The inhibitory activity was isolated by a combination of procedures including: ultracentrifugation, Sephadex G-200, carboxymethylcellulose, SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, thin-layer and preparative isoelectric focusing and concanavalin A-Sepharose. Leukemia-associated inhibitory activity was characterized as a glycoprotein. it was inactivated by trypsin, chymotrypsin, pronase and periodate treatment. It bound to and was eluted by alpha-methylmannose from concanavalin A-Sepharose columns and had an apparent Mr range of 450-550 000 and an isoelectric focus value between pH 4.6 and 4.9. Crude leukemia associated inhibitory activity was temperature sensitive but the more purified preparations were heat stable.
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