Systematic transcriptional analysis of human cell lines for gene expression landscape and tumor representation

Nat Commun. 2023 Sep 5;14(1):5417. doi: 10.1038/s41467-023-41132-w.


Cell lines are valuable resources as model for human biology and translational medicine. It is thus important to explore the concordance between the expression in various cell lines vis-à-vis human native and disease tissues. In this study, we investigate the expression of all human protein-coding genes in more than 1,000 human cell lines representing 27 cancer types by a genome-wide transcriptomics analysis. The cell line gene expression is compared with the corresponding profiles in various tissues, organs, single-cell types and cancers. Here, we present the expression for each cell line and give guidance for the most appropriate cell line for a given experimental study. In addition, we explore the cancer-related pathway and cytokine activity of the cell lines to aid human biology studies and drug development projects. All data are presented in an open access cell line section of the Human Protein Atlas to facilitate the exploration of all human protein-coding genes across these cell lines.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Line
  • Drug Development
  • Gene Expression
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms*