Characterization and comparison of the properties of sarcoma cell lines in vitro and in vivo

Joslyn Mills, Tulio Matos, Elizabeth Charytonowicz, Todd Hricik, Mireia Castillo-Martin, Fabrizio Remotti, Francis Y. Lee, Igor Matushansky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


To expand the available tools for investigating human sarcomas, we characterized the primary properties of 22 common, uncommon, and newly characterized sarcoma cell lines representing eight different histological subtypes. Throughout the characterization process we noticed that in vitro markers and assays are poor indicators of tumorigenicity and that generated xenografts often bear little resemblance to the original histopathology. In vitro properties examined included morphology, proliferation rate, cell cycle characteristics, invasiveness, and immunohistochemical expression of p53 and phospho-AKT. In vivo properties examined included days to tumor formation in NOD/SCID mice, xenograft morphology in several locations and immunohistochemical expression of Ki67, p53 and phospho-AKT. We believe that such an in depth comparison of a large cohort of sarcoma cell lines will be useful in both designing and interpreting experiments aimed at elucidating both the molecular biology and efficacy of therapeutic agents in sarcomas. However, that data generated also suggests a small set of sarcoma cell lines may be inappropriate for generalizations regarding biological behavior of specific sarcoma subtypes. Integration of functional genomics or other more sophisticated assays of cell lines may help bridge the differences in vitro and in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-93
Number of pages9
JournalHuman Cell
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Cell line
  • Properties
  • Sarcoma


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