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Prostate. 2003 Nov 1;57(3):205-25.

Molecular characterization of human prostate carcinoma cell lines.

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Department of Pathology, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, Colorado 80262, USA.



This study presents a comprehensive survey and characterization of available prostate carcinoma cell lines, most of which have been widely used but are incompletely characterized.


A total of 21 cell lines were investigated, including three "classical" (DU 145, LNCaP, and PC-3) and 18 "non-classical" lines (1013L, 22Rv1, ALVA-55, ALVA-101, ARCaP, CWR-R1, DuCaP, DuPro-1, LAPC-4, MDA PCa 1, MDA PCa 2a, MDA PCa 2b, NCI-H660, PC-346C, PC-93, PSK-1, UM-SCP-1, and VCaP). Cytogenetics, DNA profiling, expression of basal, luminal, and neuroendocrine differentiation markers, and mutation analyses of the TP53 and androgen receptor (AR) genes were performed.


Based on cytogenetics and DNA profiling analyses, out of the 18 "non-classical" lines, six were confirmed to be unique, eight (in four pairs) were confirmed to be related in origin, and four lines were identified as cross-contaminants. Of this latter group, PC-93 was found to be a derivative of HeLa, whereas DuPro-1, ALVA-55, and ALVA-101 were derivatives of PC-3. The 17 genuine prostate cell lines expressed keratin 8 (K8) and K18. Nine showed AR expression, of which five harbored mutations in the AR gene. Prostate-specific antigen and DD3 were exclusively detected in AR expressing cell lines. Seven lines expressed the basal cell marker K5, three of these lines showed co-expression of AR.


This study defines a collection of 17 genuine prostate carcinoma cell lines. This collection, although small, constitutes a variety of different types and stages of prostate cancer, while it also partly reflects the heterogeneous nature of this malignancy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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