Reversible immortalization using SV40 large T antigens and the Cre/LoxP system was successfully achieved with primary human fibroblasts. The concept of reversible immortalization involves introducing an immortalizing agent, SV40 large T antigens, into primary cells, expanding the cells in the culture, and finally, efficiently removing the immortalizing agent using Cre/LoxP site-specific recombination. The resulting cell population is essentially identical to the initial primary cells, but greatly increased in number. Since this report, reversible immortalization has been realized with hepatocytes, pancreatic Î²-cells, hepatic stellate cells, endothelial cells, renal epithelial cells and myogenic cells.
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Last date updated on January, 2021