Long-term adaptation of breast tumor cell lines to high concentrations of nitric oxide

Benjamin J. Vesper, Kim M. Elseth, Gabor Tarjan, G. Kenneth Haines, James A. Radosevich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Nitric oxide (NO), a free radical, has been implicated in the biology of human cancers, including breast cancer, yet it is still unclear how NO affects tumor development and propagation. We herein gradually adapted four human breast adenocarcinoma cell lines (BT-20, Hs578T, T-47D, and MCF-7) to increasing concentrations of the NO donor DETA-NONOate up to 600 μM. The resulting model system consisted of a set of fully adapted high nitric oxide ("HNO") cell lines that are biologically different from the "parent" cell lines from which they originated. Although each of the four parent and HNO cell lines had identical morphologic appearance, the HNO cells grew faster than their corresponding parent cells and were resistant to both nitrogen- and oxygen-based free radicals. These cell lines serve as a novel tool to study the role of NO in breast cancer progression and potentially can be used to predict the therapeutic response leading to more efficient therapeutic regimens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-275
Number of pages9
JournalTumor Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Breast cancer
  • Nitric oxide
  • Nitric oxide synthase (NOS)
  • Nitrogen and oxygen reactive species


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