Objectives: Cell lines derived from human ovarian and endometrial cancers, and their immortalized non-malignant counterparts, are critical tools to investigate and characterize molecular mechanisms underlying gynecologic tumorigenesis, and facilitate development of novel therapeutics. To determine the extent of misidentification, contamination and redundancy, with evident consequences for the validity of research based upon these models, we undertook a systematic analysis and cataloging of endometrial and ovarian cell lines.
Methods: Profiling of cell lines by analysis of DNA microsatellite short tandem repeats (STR), p53 nucleotide polymorphisms and microsatellite instability was performed.
Results: Fifty-one ovarian cancer lines were profiled with ten found to be redundant and five (A2008, OV2008, C13, SK-OV-4 and SK-OV-6) identified as cervical cancer cells. Ten endometrial cell lines were analyzed, with RL-92, HEC-1A, HEC-1B, HEC-50, KLE, and AN3CA all exhibiting unique, uncontaminated STR profiles. Multiple variants of Ishikawa and ECC-1 endometrial cancer cell lines were genotyped and analyzed by sequencing of mutations in the p53 gene. The profile of ECC-1 cells did not match the EnCa-101 tumor, from which it was reportedly derived, and all ECC-1 isolates were genotyped as Ishikawa cells, MCF-7 breast cancer cells, or a combination thereof. Two normal, immortalized endometrial epithelial cell lines, HES cells and the hTERT-EEC line, were identified as HeLa cervical carcinoma and MCF-7 breast cancer cells, respectively.
Conclusions: Results demonstrate significant misidentification, duplication, and loss of integrity of endometrial and ovarian cancer cell lines. Authentication by STR DNA profiling is a simple and economical method to verify and validate studies undertaken with these models.
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