Macrophage scavenger receptor confers an adherent phenotype to cells in culture

Biotechniques. 1998 Aug;25(2):240-4. doi: 10.2144/98252st04.


Several cell lines have become widely used in biotechnology, pharmaceutical and academic laboratories because of their desirable characteristics. Among these, the human embryonic kidney cell line HEK293 is one of the most versatile and powerful for expression of recombinant proteins, permitting the establishment of stable cell lines in just three weeks. Unfortunately, HEK293 cells adhere weakly to tissue culture grade plastic. Therefore, without cumbersome and sometimes expensive modifications to equipment, these cells are not suitable for use in a number of extremely important applications, including robot-based, high-throughput drug screening formats, growth and expansion in roller bottles and expression cloning experiments. We have cloned and transfected the human Class A macrophage scavenger receptor into 293EBNA cells (293EM) and found that expression of this receptor confers a sufficiently adherent property to the cells as to render them usable with automated equipment. In addition, the 293EM cells are now able to adhere to the surface of roller bottles and to untreated glass substrates, allowing growth of these cells in formats for which they are not normally well suited.

Publication types

  • Technical Report

MeSH terms

  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / biosynthesis
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / genetics
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / physiology*
  • Cell Culture Techniques / instrumentation
  • Cell Division
  • Cell Line
  • Humans
  • Kidney / cytology
  • Macrophages / cytology
  • Macrophages / metabolism*
  • Macrophages / physiology
  • Phenotype
  • Receptors, Immunologic / biosynthesis
  • Receptors, Immunologic / genetics
  • Receptors, Immunologic / physiology*
  • Receptors, Scavenger
  • Recombinant Proteins / genetics
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism
  • Scavenger Receptors, Class A


  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • MSR1 protein, human
  • Receptors, Immunologic
  • Receptors, Scavenger
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Scavenger Receptors, Class A