Widely used prostate carcinoma cell lines share common origins

Prostate. 2001 Apr;47(1):36-51. doi: 10.1002/pros.1045.


Background: Cross-contamination is a persistent problem in the establishment and maintenance of mammalian cell lines. The observation that the cell lines PC-3, ALVA-31, and PPC-1 all have a homozygous deletion of the alpha-catenin gene prompted us to investigate the uniqueness of these and several other widely used prostate carcinoma cell lines.

Methods: The genetic backgrounds of the putative human prostate cell lines (ALVA-31, ALVA-41, BPH-1, DU 145, JCA-1, LAPC-4, LNCaP, NCI-H660, ND-1, PC-3, PC-3MM2, PC-346C, PPC-1, and TSU-Pr1) were analyzed by cytogenetics, mutation analysis, and DNA profiling.

Results: Similarities between several groups of cell lines were found. ALVA-31, ALVA-41, PC-3, PC-3MM2, and PPC-1 all have a deletion of a C in codon 138 of the p53 gene and show almost identical DNA profiles. The ND-1 cell line has two p53 mutations that are identical to the mutations found in DU 145. These two cell lines also share a high number of structural chromosomal abnormalities and nearly identical DNA profiles. The cell lines TSU-Pr1 and JCA-1 share an identical p53 mutation in exon 5 and identical DNA profiles.

Conclusions: Several widely used prostate carcinoma cell lines apparently have identities in common. The knowledge that some of these cell lines are derivatives of one another prompts re-evaluation of previously obtained results.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Lineage / genetics*
  • Cytogenetics
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • DNA Primers
  • Genes, Neoplasm / genetics
  • Genes, ras
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Male
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Prostatic Neoplasms*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured / cytology*
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / genetics


  • DNA Primers
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53