Send to

Choose Destination
Lab Invest. 1993 Jun;68(6):716-27.

Characterization of seven newly established nasopharyngeal carcinoma cell lines.

Author information

Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China.



Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) has a relatively high incidence in Chinese living in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and South China. To better understand this cancer, we have established several new NPC cell lines.


We collected biopsy specimens from suspected NPC patients and divided each specimen into two parts: the first part was fixed for routine histopathologic examination, and the other part was put into culture medium for primary culture. Once the cell lines were established, they were extensively characterized.


Seven NPC cell lines were established, and all have been passaged more than 100 times. Two lines were derived from keratinizing carcinomas and five from undifferentiated carcinomas. Electron microscopic examination revealed that both dark and light tumor cells contained intermediate filaments with clear desmosome formation. The average doubling time ranged from 10.7 to 16.3 hours. Karyotypic analysis showed multiple chromosome abnormalities with the average chromosome number between 84 and 95. Colony forming efficiency in soft agar was 18-42%. All cell lines could induce solid tumor mass formation when transplanted into nude mice, and the histopathological findings showed two keratinizing and five nonkeratinizing carcinomas. All cell lines contained less acidic keratin polypeptides than basic keratin polypeptides. Strong expression of vimentin in each single cell of all cell lines was also observed. The oncosuppressor retinoblastoma gene in each cell line showed no remarkable abnormality, but retinoblastoma protein was abnormally expressed in some interphase cells. The oncogenes, erbB and c-fgr, were both normally expressed. While the c-myc oncogene in all cell lines was overexpressed when compared with the Burkitt's lymphoma Raji Cell line, the c-myc DNA sequence in each cell line showed neither amplification nor rearrangement.


The newly established seven NPC cell lines have been well characterized, and all showed overexpression of c-myc oncogene. The oncosuppressor retinoblastoma gene revealed no remarkable rearrangement, but its protein product was abnormal in certain interphase cells of each cell line.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center