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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Immunocytochemical analysis of cell lines derived from solid tumors.

Antibodies recognizing tissue-specific antigens are widely used to identify the histological origin of tumors. Here we tested the fidelity of selected tissue markers on all 167 solid tumor-derived continuous cell lines in the DSMZ cell lines bank. Most lines had an intermediate filament content consistent with the tumor type from which they were derived. Thus, 93% of all carcinoma cell lines expressed keratin filaments. With certain antibodies, some subclassification was possible. For example, the CK7 keratin 7 antibody can differentiate between colon and pancreas-derived carcinoma cell lines. Cell lines derived from non-carcinomas, in general, did not express keratin but were vimentin-positive. Four of 10 glioma/astrocytoma cell lines expressed GFAP, five of six neuroblastoma cell lines expressed neurofilaments, and the TE-671 rhabdomyosarcoma cell line expressed desmin. When other tissue markers were tested, 12/16 melanoma-derived cell lines expressed HMB-45, while PSA, CA125, and thyroglobulin were less useful. These results demonstrate that cell lines retain some but not all markers typical of the original tumor type and identify certain markers useful in characterizing the histological origin of cell lines. Our data question the identity of some cell lines submitted to the bank in the past. The immunoprofiles of 167 solid tumor-derived and 131 hematopoetic cell lines can be found at[1]


  1. Immunocytochemical analysis of cell lines derived from solid tumors. Quentmeier, H., Osborn, M., Reinhardt, J., Zaborski, M., Drexler, H.G. J. Histochem. Cytochem. (2001) [Pubmed]
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