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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Suppression of tumor growth by senescence in virally transformed human fibroblasts.

Normal human cells whether embryonic, neonatal, or adult are resistant to experimentally induced tumorigenesis in contrast to rodent or chicken cells. We showed previously that neither transformation with simian virus 40 DNA nor transfection with human mutant HRAS DNA immortalized FS-2 cells (diploid, neonatal human fibroblasts). Further, tumorigenicity was not induced, despite expression of the respective transforming gene products tumor (T) antigen or p21. Here we describe treatment of FS-2 and FSSV cells with baboon endogenous virus pseudotyped Kirsten murine sarcoma virus. FSSV cells were derived from individual foci of simian virus 40-transformed FS-2 cells. The retrovirus-treated FS-2 cells (called FSK) appeared heavily granulated and expressed viral p21 but senesced during passage in culture and were not tumorigenic. The retrovirus-treated FSSV-27 cells (called FSVK-27) expressed simian virus 40 tumor antigen, had elevated levels of viral p21 protein, and formed transient tumors in nude mice. Whether grown in culture or explanted from small tumors, the FSVK-27 cells senesced. The FSVK-46 cells senesced before tumor growth occurred. On the contrary, Kirsten murine sarcoma virus (baboon endogenous virus) treatment of immortalized nontumorigenic human fibroblasts expressing simian virus 40 tumor antigen (Va2 cells) led to consistent tumor formation. The results illustrate the importance of senescence in restricting the tumor-forming ability of human cells.[1]


  1. Suppression of tumor growth by senescence in virally transformed human fibroblasts. O'Brien, W., Stenman, G., Sager, R. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1986) [Pubmed]
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