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The differentiating effect of DMSO on K562 cells was studied against the background of pretreatment of the cells by the modulators of activities of protein kinase C and Ca signaling, phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate, and ionophore A23187. The 2-hour pretreatment of K562 cells with A23187 (1 μM), rather than phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (0.1 μM), led to inhibition of the differentiating effect of DMSO (0.1%) during the subsequent four days of incubation. When the cells were pretreated jointly with A23187 and phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate, the DMSO-induced erythroid differentiation was restored. Analysis of the DNA-degrading effect of the reagents used on K562 cells by fluorescent dyes under the same conditions suggests that this activity is induced in the presence of DMSO in the cells pretreated with a combination of phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate and A23187 or without pretreatment.