Induction of cellular senescence in immortalized cells by human chromosome 1

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Science  09 Feb 1990:
Vol. 247, Issue 4943, pp. 707-710
DOI: 10.1126/science.2300822


The control of cellular senescence by specific human chromosomes was examined in interspecies cell hybrids between diploid human fibroblasts and an immortal, Syrian hamster cell line. Most such hybrids exhibited a limited life span comparable to that of the human fibroblasts, indicating that cellular senescence is dominant in these hybrids. Karyotypic analyses of the hybrid clones that did not senesce revealed that all these clones had lost both copies of human chromosome 1, whereas all other human chromosomes were observed in at least some of the immortal hybrids. The application of selective pressure for retention of human chromosome 1 to the cell hybrids resulted in an increased percentage of hybrids that senesced. Further, the introduction of a single copy of human chromosome 1 to the hamster cells by microcell fusion caused typical signs of cellular senescence. Transfer of chromosome 11 had no effect on the growth of the cells. These findings indicate that human chromosome 1 may participate in the control of cellular senescence and further support a genetic basis for cellular senescence.

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