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ABSTRACT

The effects of aphidicolin, a specific inhibitor of DNA polymerase α, on cell growth, DNA synthesis and myogenic differentiation in the human alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma cell line KFR were studied. The treatment with aphidicolin at 5 × 10−6 M concentration, which completely inhibited DNA synthesis and cell growth, induced morphological differentiation of small mononuclear cells to elongated, multinucleated (myotube-like) structures. The morphological differentiation was accompanied by the expression of skeletal muscle myosin; about 30% myosin-positive cells were observed after 14 days of treatment, compared to 2.3% in untreated cultures. The results showed that aphidicolin induces differentiation of human rhabdomyosarcoma cells and that multinucleated myotube-like elements may develop simply by cell fusion without cell division and DNA synthesis.