Beta-cell lines derived from transgenic mice expressing a hybrid insulin gene-oncogene

S. Efrat, S. Linde, H. Kofod, D. Spector, M. Delannoy, S. Grant, D. Hanahan, S. Baekkeskov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Three pancreatic beta-cell lines have been established from insulinomas derived from transgenic mice carrying a hybrid insulin-promoted simian virus 40 tumor antigen gene. The beta tumor cell (βTC) lines maintain the features of differentiated beta cells for about 50 passages in culture. The cells produce both proinsulin I and II and efficiently process each into mature insulin, in a manner comparable to normal beta cells in isolated islets. Electron microscopy reveals typical beta-cell type secretory granules, in which insulin is stored. Insulin secretion is inducible up to 30-fold by glucose, although with a lower threshold for maximal stimulation than that for normal beta cells. βTC lines can be repeatedly derived from primary beta-cell tumors that heritably arise in the transgenic mice. Thus, targeted expression of an oncogene with a cell-specific regulatory element can be used both to immortalize a rare cell type and to provide a selection for the maintenance of its differentiated phenotype.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9037-9041
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number23
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes


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