Indexed on: 17 Jul '07Published on: 17 Jul '07Published in: Cancer Letters
As a culture model to study hepatocarcinogenesis, telomerase-immortalized human fetal hepatocytes were monitored for karyotype changes evolving in long-term culture and development of functional defects in DNA damage response. G-banding revealed acquisition of characteristic karyotype abnormalities, e.g., trisomy 7 and monosomy X, in two independently immortalized and cultured populations after 80-100 population doublings. Interestingly, the detected aneuploidies resemble some of the genetic events observed in hepatocellular cancer. However, these genetic changes were not sufficient to induce oncogenic transformation reflected by absence of anchorage-independent growth. Furthermore, long-term cultured telomerase-immortalized cells preserved p53 expression levels and effective p53-mediated damage response.