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Trends Mol Med. 2004 Nov;10(11):542-8.

Oncogenic transformation of human cells: shortcomings of rodent model systems.

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Laboratory of Molecular Oncology, Osaka Bioscience Institute, 6-2-4 Furuedai, Suita, Osaka 565-0874, Japan.


Long-standing difficulties in the in vitro transformation of human cells have been overcome. Using telomerase, several successful oncogene-mediated transformations of human cells have been reported and the following cellular requirements for human cell transformation have been proposed: the maintenance of telomere sequences, the inactivation of Rb and p53 pathways, the perturbation of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) and the expression of activated Ras. Even when all of these requirements are fulfilled, however, the transformed phenotypes of human cells seem to be much less malignant than those of rodent cells meeting the same requirements. This suggests the existence of undefined cell-autonomous mechanisms that render human cells resistant to malignant transformation.

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