Functional characterization of a panel of high-grade serous ovarian cancer cell lines as representative experimental models of the disease

Oncotarget. 2016 May 31;7(22):32810-20. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.9053.


Genomic analysis of ovarian cancer cell lines has revealed a panel that best represents the most common ovarian cancer subtype, high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC). However, these HGSOC-like cell lines have not been extensively applied by ovarian cancer researchers to date, and the most commonly used cell lines in the ovarian cancer field do not genetically resemble the major clinical type of the disease. For the HGSOC-like lines to serve as suitable models, they need to be characterized for common functional assays. To achieve that objective, we systematically studied a panel of HGSOC cells CAOV3, COV362, Kuramochi, OVCAR4, OVCAR5, OVCAR8, OVSAHO and SNU119 for migration, invasion, proliferation, clonogenicity, EMT phenotype and cisplatin resistance. They exhibited a range of efficacies and OVCAR5, OVCAR8 and Kuramochi were the most aggressive. SNU119 and OVSAHO cells demonstrated the lowest functional activities. Wide differences in expression of EMT markers were observed between cell lines. SNU119 were the most epithelial and OVCAR8 had the most mesenchymal phenotype. COV362 was the most resistant to cisplatin while CAOV3 was the most sensitive. Taken together, our systematic characterization represents a valuable resource to help guide the application of HGSOC cells by the cancer research community.

Keywords: clonogenicity; invasion; migration; ovarian cancer; proliferation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Movement
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cisplatin / pharmacology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm
  • Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inhibitory Concentration 50
  • Neoplasm Grading
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neoplasms, Cystic, Mucinous, and Serous / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms, Cystic, Mucinous, and Serous / pathology*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Phenotype
  • Time Factors


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Cisplatin