Undifferentiated U937 cells transfected with chemoattractant receptors: a model system to investigate chemotactic mechanisms and receptor structure/function relationships. Academic Article uri icon


  • Transfection of either the C5a receptor or the formyl peptide receptor into undifferentiated U937 cells generated continuously growing cell lines that stably expressed these receptors. The transfected cells displayed significant numbers of cell surface receptors that had ligand binding properties similar to fully differentiated U937 cells. Undifferentiated transfected U937 cells were capable of a ligand-specific calcium flux and showed migratory responses that were qualitatively and quantitatively similar to differentiated cells and were specific for each chemoattractant. Moreover, the chemotactic response could be desensitized by preincubating the cells in a high concentration of ligand and could be blocked by pertussis toxin. These results demonstrate that undifferentiated U937 cells possess the subcellular signaling apparatus and machinery necessary to generate a motile response and that the only missing component for chemotaxis is expression of a chemoattractant receptor. In addition, the results demonstrate that undifferentiated U937 cells transfected with chemoattractant receptors provide a defined model system to study receptor structure/function relationships and may be used to investigate receptor-mediated chemotactic responses in a relevant human myeloid cell.

publication date

  • March 1997