Characterization of Human Cancer Cell Lines by Reverse-phase Protein Arrays

Cancer Cell. 2017 Feb 13;31(2):225-239. doi: 10.1016/j.ccell.2017.01.005.


Cancer cell lines are major model systems for mechanistic investigation and drug development. However, protein expression data linked to high-quality DNA, RNA, and drug-screening data have not been available across a large number of cancer cell lines. Using reverse-phase protein arrays, we measured expression levels of ∼230 key cancer-related proteins in >650 independent cell lines, many of which have publically available genomic, transcriptomic, and drug-screening data. Our dataset recapitulates the effects of mutated pathways on protein expression observed in patient samples, and demonstrates that proteins and particularly phosphoproteins provide information for predicting drug sensitivity that is not available from the corresponding mRNAs. We also developed a user-friendly bioinformatic resource, MCLP, to help serve the biomedical research community.

Keywords: biomarker; cancer cell lines; data portal; drug sensitivity; proteomics; reverse-phase protein array; signaling pathways.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Computational Biology
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition
  • ErbB Receptors / physiology
  • Humans
  • Mutation
  • Neoplasm Proteins / analysis*
  • Nuclear Proteins / analysis
  • Protein Array Analysis / methods*
  • Proteomics
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Transcription Factors / analysis


  • ARID1A protein, human
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Transcription Factors
  • ErbB Receptors