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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1975 Nov;72(11):4435-9.

Tumorigenicity of virus-transformed cells in nude mice is correlated specifically with anchorage independent growth in vitro.


Clonal isolates of mouse 3T3 cells and primary rat embryo cells, recovered nonselectively after infection by simian virus 40 (SV40), have been tested for tumorigenicity in the immune-deficient nude mice in order to determine the cellular growth properties in vitro specifically correlated with neoplastic growth in vivo. In addition, mouse 3T3 cells transformed by murine sarcoma virus (MuSV, Kirsten strain), and revertants isolated from cells fully transformed by either SV40 or MuSV were also studied. Results suggest that the single cellular property consistently associated with tumorigenicity in nude mice is the acquisition by virus-transformed cells of the ability to proliferate in vitro in the absence of anchorage. Other cellular parameters of virus-induced transformation, such as lack of sensitivity to high cell density and the capacity to grow in low serum concentration, are dissociable from cellular tumorigeneicity. This conclusion is supported further by the demonstration that specific selection in vivo for tumorigenic cells from anchorage-dependent cells results in the isolation of anchorage-independent cells. Conversely, a single-step selection in vitro for anchorage-independent cells from nontumorigenic cells results in a simultaneous selection of highly tumorigenic subclones.

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