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Exp Gerontol. 1992 Sep-Dec;27(5-6):477-92.

Re-expression of senescent markers in deinduced reversibly immortalized cells.

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University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, Dallas 75235-9039.


We have developed a simian virus 40 (SV40) T-antigen immortalized human cell line, 1MR90-D305.2H4 (IDH4), in which the expression of T-antigen is controlled by the mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV) promoter and thus regulated by steroids such as dexamethasone. Studies on the regulation of proliferation by T-antigen led to the formulation of a two-stage model for human cell immortalization, in which a mortality stage 1 mechanism (M1) was the target of T-antigen action, and an independent mortality stage 2 mechanism (M2) produced crisis and prevented T-antigen from directly immortalizing cells. Rarely, a cell expressing T-antigen escaped crisis (e.g., M2) and was capable of indefinite proliferation. This model predicted that the deinduction of T-antigen in IDH4 cells would lead to the reexpression of the M1 mechanism, and thus a reexpression of the senescent phenotype. Our study confirms the prediction that, in the absence of steroids, IDH4 cells express a variety of morphological and biochemical markers characteristic of normal senescent human fibroblasts.

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