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Conferring on normal cells cultured in vitro the property of an infinite lifespan, as from spontaneous mutation, by exposure to chemical carcinogens, or by viral infection. Immortalization of primary cells in culture is the first of several steps in the expression of transforming genes of DNA tumor viruses, of retrovirus oncogenes, and cellular oncogenes derived from human cancer cells.
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012
immortalizationA change in a eukaryotic cell line that confers the ability to go on dividing and reproducing indefinitely. Immortalization implies the ability to continue to reform TELOMERES.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005
immortalizationgenetic transformation of a cell type into a cell line that can proliferate virtually indefinitely, as in HYBRIDOMA cells for the production of MONOCLONAL ANTIBODIES.
Collins Dictionary of Biology, 3rd ed. © W. G. Hale, V. A. Saunders, J. P. Margham 2005