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Cre/loxP-Based Reversible Immortalization of Human Hepatocytes

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An ideal alternative to the primary human hepatocytes for hepatocyte transplantation would be to use a clonal cell line that grows economically in culture and exhibits the characteristics of differentiated, nontransformed hepatocytes following transplantation. The purpose of the present studies was to establish a reversibly immortalized human hepatocyte cell line. Human hepatocytes were immortalized with a retroviral vector SSR#69 expressing simian virus 40 large T antigen (SV40Tag) gene flanked by a pair of loxP recombination targets. One of the resulting clones, NKNT-3, showed morphological characteristics of liver parenchymal cells and expressed the genes of differentiated liver functions. NKNT-3 cells offered unlimited availability. After an adenoviral delivery of Cre recombinase and subsequent differential selection, efficient removal of SV40Tag from NKNT-3 cells was performed. Here we represent that elimination of the retrovirally transferred SV40Tag gene can be excised by adenovirus-mediated site-specific recombination.

Keywords: Cre/loxP system; Human hepatocytes; Key words: Reversible immortalization; Simian virus 40 large T antigen

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: *First Department of Surgery, Okayama University Medical School, 2-5-1 Shikata-cho, Okayama 700-8558, Japan 2: †Harvard-Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139

Publication date: April 1, 2001

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

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