SV40 large T antigen, a viral oncoprotein, is known to immortalize human diploid fibroblast by soaking up cellular RB and p53, but its frequency is extremely low. Additional genetic alteration is necessary for single-step immortalization. We attempted to find out what this alteration is by overexpressing cellular signal mediator genes; c-myc and cyclin D frequently amplified in many cancer cells. Overexpression of cyclin D did not affect the immortalization, but, overexpression of c-myc along with T antigen could immortalize normal human diploid fibroblast. Several cellular markers tested during immortalization process showed that p21, a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor and a marker of cellular senescence, disappeared in the life span-extended cells by T antigen and in the immortalized cells by c-myc. p21 was, however, elevated in the senescent cells and in the cells of crisis. Interestingly, p16 was upregulated whenever T antigen is overexpressed. Telomerase activity was also activated only in the immortalized cells. These results suggest that overexpression of c-myc contributes to immortalization of human diploid fibroblast by activating telomerase activity and suppressing p21 activity.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Experimental and Molecular Medicine|
|State||Published - 31 Dec 2001|
- Human embryonic fibroblasts
- SV40 large T antigen