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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Feb 8;102(6):2052-7. Epub 2005 Jan 25.

Assessment of tumor characteristic gene expression in cell lines using a tissue similarity index (TSI).

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Microbiology and Tumor Biology Center, Karolinska Institutet, S-171 77 Stockholm, Sweden.


The gene expression profiles of 60 cell lines, derived from nine different tissues, were compared with their corresponding in vivo tumors and tissues. Cell lines expressed few tissue-specific (2%) or tumor-specific (5%) genes when analyzed group-wise. A tissue similarity index (TSI) was designed based upon singular value decomposition that measured in vivo tumor characteristic gene expression in each cell line independently. Only 34 of the 60 cell lines received the highest TSI toward its tumor of origin. In addition, we identified the most appropriate cell lines to be used as model systems for different in vivo tumors. Seven cell lines were identified as being of another origin than the originally presumed one. The proposed TSI will likely become an important tool for the selection of the most appropriate cell lines in pharmaceutical screening programs and experimental and biomedical research.

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