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Abstract

Previously, retinoblastoma (Rb) transgenic mice were produced under the control of the Rb gene promoter and showed dwarf characteristics. Here, we created transgenic mice, in which the human Rb gene was controlled by the hepatocyte nuclear factor-1 gene promoter/enhancer and was expressed primarily in the liver. The liver of these novel transgenic mice was normally developed. Intriguingly, these mice showed resistance to fulminant hepatitis induced by anti-Fas antibody as well as resistance to chemical carcinogenesis in the liver. These results show that the Rb protein acts as an anti-apoptotic and anti-oncogenic agent in vivo. Our novel construct may be useful as a gene cassette in gene therapy for prevention of fulminant hepatitis and hepatoma.