• Realgar;
  • Arsenic sulfide;
  • Differentiation;
  • MAPK pathway;
  • HL-60


The clinical efficacy and safety of realgar (arsenic sulfide, As4S4) in the treatment of acute promyelocytic leukemia in China have given rise to an upsurge in research on the underlying mechanism. We prepared realgar nanoparticles (RNPs) to examine their effect on the differentiation of HL-60 cells. Treatment with RNPs at 6 μM for 72 h induced cell differentiation that was assessed by morphological change, NBT reductive ability, and elevation of CD11b expression at both mRNA and protein levels. The RNP-induced differentiation was synergized, enhanced and suppressed by the inhibition of p38 MAPK, JNK and ERK pathways, respectively. Our findings demonstrate that MAPK signaling pathways are closely related to the RNP-induced differentiation in HL-60 cells.