Polyploidy and Endoreduplication in Human Leukocyte Cultures Treated with β-Mercaptopyruvate

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Science  02 Aug 1963:
Vol. 141, Issue 3579, pp. 424-426
DOI: 10.1126/science.141.3579.424


Treatment of cultured human peripheral blood leukocytes with β-mercaptopyruvate resulted in marked increases in polyploidy and endoreduplication in squash preparations of mitoses in the metaphase stage. Since β-mercaptopyruvate occurs in man as an intermediary metabolite in cysteine degradation, it might contribute to the development of polyploidy in vivo, especially in tumors lacking desulfurase enzymes.

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