Several cell lines, originally thought to be derived from a human placenta at term but possibly HeLa-contaminated, have been studied. These cells secrete a protein indistinguishable immunochemically from the alpha subunit of chorionic gonadotropin but not the beta subunit of chorionic gonadotropin or placental lactogen. Complete chorionic gonadotropin was detected but amounted to less than 1% of the level of the alpha subunit. The cells also produce an alkaline phosphatase similar to placental alkaline phosphatase in immunochemical, gel-electrophoretic, and heat-denaturation properties. They induce tumor growth when inoculated into nude mice. These cells are aneuploid and have a model chromosome number of 66. The common HeLa karyologic markers, designated 1, 2, and 3, and A-type glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase are present in these cells. HeLa cells have not previously been shown to secrete the α subunit of hCG.
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