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Stem Cells International
Volume 2019, Article ID 5129526, 12 pages
Review Article

Potential for Isolation of Immortalized Hepatocyte Cell Lines by Liver-Directed In Vivo Gene Delivery of Transposons in Mice

1Section of Gene Expression Regulation, Frontier Science Research Center, Kagoshima University, Kagoshima 890-8544, Japan
2Division of Pediatric Dentistry, Graduate School of Medical and Dental Science, Niigata University, Niigata 951-8514, Japan
3Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Kagoshima University, Kagoshima 890-8544, Japan
4Division of Biomedical Engineering, National Defense Medical College Research Institute, Saitama 359-8513, Japan
5Animal Genome Unit, Institute of Livestock and Grassland Science, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO), Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0901, Japan

Correspondence should be addressed to Masahiro Sato;

Received 9 March 2019; Accepted 6 May 2019; Published 2 June 2019

Guest Editor: Luis E. Gomez-Quiroz

Copyright © 2019 Masahiro Sato et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Isolation of hepatocytes and their culture in vitro represent important avenues to explore the function of such cells. However, these studies are often difficult to perform because of the inability of hepatocytes to proliferate in vitro. Immortalization of isolated hepatocytes is thus an important step toward continuous in vitro culture. For cellular immortalization, integration of relevant genes into the host chromosomes is a prerequisite. Transposons, which are mobile genetic elements, are known to facilitate integration of genes of interest (GOI) into chromosomes in vitro and in vivo. Here, we proposed that a combination of transposon- and liver-directed introduction of nucleic acids may confer acquisition of unlimited cellular proliferative potential on hepatocytes, enabling the possible isolation of immortalized hepatocyte cell lines, which has often failed using more traditional immortalization methods.