Allen M, Bjerke M, Edlund H, Nelander S, Westermark B
Sci Transl Med 8 (354) 354re3 [2016-08-31; online 2016-09-02]
Human tumor-derived cell lines are indispensable tools for basic and translational oncology. They have an infinite life span and are easy to handle and scalable, and results can be obtained with high reproducibility. However, a tumor-derived cell line may not be authentic to the tumor of origin. Two major questions emerge: Have the identity of the donor and the actual tumor origin of the cell line been accurately determined? To what extent does the cell line reflect the phenotype of the tumor type of origin? The importance of these questions is greatest in translational research. We have examined these questions using genetic profiling and transcriptome analysis in human glioma cell lines. We find that the DNA profile of the widely used glioma cell line U87MG is different from that of the original cells and that it is likely to be a bona fide human glioblastoma cell line of unknown origin.