Insertion of a suicide gene into an immortalized human hepatocyte cell line

N. Kobayashi, H. Noguchi, T. Totsugawa, T. Watanabe, T. Matsumura, T. Fujiwara, M. Miyazaki, K. Fukaya, M. Namba, N. Tanaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


For developing a bioartificial liver (BAL) device, an attractive alternative to the primary human hepatocytes would be the use of highly differentiated immortalized human hepatocytes with a safeguard. To test the feasibility, the primary human hepatocytes were immortalized by a plasmid SV3neo encoding simian virus 40 large T antigen (SV40Tag) gene. A highly differentiated hepatocyte line OUMS-29 was established. A suicide gene of herpes simplex virus-thymidine kinase (HSV-TK) was retrovirally introduced into OUMS-29 cells as a safeguard for clinical application. One of the resulting HSV-TK-positive cell lines, OUMS-29/ tk, grew in chemically defined serum-free medium with the gene expression of differentiated liver functions. OUMS-29/tk cells were 100 times more sensitive to ganciclovir compared with unmodified OUMS-29 cells in in vitro experiments. We have established a tightly regulated immortalized human hepatocyte cell line. Essentially unlimited availability of OUMS-29/tk cells may be clinically useful for BAL therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-376
Number of pages4
JournalCell Transplantation
Issue number4-5
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Herpes simplex virus-thymidine kinase
  • Immoralized human hepatocytes
  • Suicide gene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Cell Biology
  • Transplantation


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