Immortal epithelial cell lines were previously established after transduction of the HPV16-E6E7 genes into primary cultures of normal pancreatic duct epithelial cells. Single clones were isolated that demonstrated near normal genotype and phenotype. The proliferation of HPDE6-E6E7c7 and c11 cells is anchorage-dependent, and they were nontumorigenic in SCID mice. The cell lines demonstrated many phenotypes of normal pancreatic duct epithelium, including mRNA expression of carbonic anhydrase II, MUC-1, and cytokeratins 7, 8, 18, and 19. These cells have normal Ki-ras, p53, c-myc, and p16(INK4A) genotypes. Cytogenetic studies demonstrated losses of 3p, 10p12, and 13q14, the latter included the Rb1 gene. The wild-type p53 protein was detectable at very low levels consistent with the presence of E6 gene product, and the lack of functional p53 pathway was confirmed by the inability for gamma-irradiation to up-regulate p53 and p21waf1/cip1 protein. The p110/Rb protein level was also not detectable consistent with the expression of E7 protein and haploid loss of Rb1 gene. Despite this, the proliferation of both c7 and c11 cells were markedly inhibited by transforming growth factor-beta1. This was associated with up-regulation of p21cip1/waf1 but not p27kip1. Further studies showed that p130/Rb2 and cyclin D3 were expressed, suggesting that p130/Rb2 may have partially assumed the maintenance of G(1) cell cycle checkpoint regulation. These results indicate that except for the loss of p53 functional pathway, the two clones of HPDE6-E6E7 cells demonstrated a near normal genotype and phenotype of pancreatic duct epithelial cells. These cell lines will be useful for future studies on the molecular basis of pancreatic duct cell carcinogenesis and islet cell differentiation.