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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1992 Feb 15;89(4):1224-8.

Immortalization of primary human smooth muscle cells.

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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA 98104.


Primary human aortic and myometrial smooth muscle cells (SMCs) were immortalized using an amphotropic recombinant retroviral construct containing the E6 and E7 open reading frames (ORFs) of human papillomavirus type 16. The SMCs expressing the E6/E7 ORFs have considerably elevated growth rates when compared with nonimmortalized control cells and show no signs of senescence with long-term passage. The first SMC line derived in this study has been maintained in continuous tissue culture for greater than 1 year (greater than 180 population doublings). The immortalized SMCs have decreased cell size and decreased content of muscle-specific alpha-actin filaments as determined by indirect immunofluorescence. Southern blot analysis has demonstrated the stable integration of the E6/E7 ORFs in the retrovirally infected cells, and radioimmunoprecipitation has confirmed the continued expression of the E6 and E7 genes. Cytogenetic studies of the SMC lines have revealed essentially diploid populations except for the myometrial clonal line, which became aneuploid at late passage (greater than 125 doublings). These cell lines were not tumorigenic in nude mice.

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