Immortalization and malignant transformation of hepatocytes by transforming genes of polyoma virus and of SV40 virus in vitro and in vivo

Klin Wochenschr. 1988;66 Suppl 11:134-9.


Hepatocytes can be converted into permanently growing hepatocyte lines by the transforming genes of either polyoma virus or SV40 virus. In transgenic mice harboring SV40 virus sequences (strain 202) most of the hepatocytes in the liver during late fetal development display an immortalized phenotype in culture, which is apparent immediately after placing liver cells into primary cultures. We conclude that at the late fetal stage hepatocytes in the liver display similar properties which might be the "initiated" cell type discussed earlier, and while untransformed, is determined to become malignant at a later point in development. Immortalized hepatocyte lines derived from the transgenic animals display reduced growth factor requirements in culture, i.e., increased autonomy. With time in culture, cells become increasingly autonomous by further reduction of their growth requirements until the final autonomous state has been attained, i.e., growth in the absence of any growth factor or hormone. It remains to be seen whether the development towards HCC in the normal liver is accompanied by a similar increased autonomy of growth factors, as observed in cells in culture.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / pathology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Liver Neoplasms, Experimental / genetics*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Oncogenes*
  • Polyomavirus / genetics*
  • Simian virus 40 / genetics*
  • Tumor Virus Infections / genetics*