Common origins of MDA-MB-435 cells from various sources with those shown to have melanoma properties

James M. Rae, Susan J. Ramus, Mark Waltham, Jane E. Armes, Ian G. Campbell, Robert Clarke, Robert J. Barndt, Michael D. Johnson, Erik W. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Recently, the tissue origin of MDA-MB-435 cell line has been the subject of considerable debate. In this study, we set out to determine whether MDA-MB-435-DTP cells shown to express melanoma-specific genes were identical to various other MDA-MB-435 cell stocks worldwide. CGH-microarray, genetic polymorphism genotyping, microsatellite fingerprint analysis and/or chromosomal number confirmed that the MDA-MB-435 cells maintained at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center (MDA-MB-435-LCC) are almost identical to the MDA-MB-435-DTP cells, and showed a very similar profile to those obtained from the same original source (MD Anderson Cancer Center) but maintained independently (MDA-MB-435-PMCC). Gene expression profile analy-sis confirmed common expression of genes among different MDA-MB-435-LCC cell stocks, and identified some unique gene products in MDA-MB-435-PMCC cells. RT-PCR analysis confirmed the expression of the melanoma marker tyrosinase across multiple MDA-MB-435 cell stocks. Collectively, our results show that the MDA-MB-435 cells used widely have identical origins to those that exhibit a melanoma-like gene expression signature, but exhibit a small degree of genotypic and phenotypic drift.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)543-552
Number of pages10
JournalClinical and Experimental Metastasis
Issue number6
StatePublished - Oct 2004
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge the collegiality of Dr. Janet Price, MD Anderson Cancer Center for comments and assistance with this manuscript. Fleur Hammet, Melanie de Silva, Anne-Marie Hutchins from the Molecular Pathology laboratory of the Victorian Breast Cancer Research Consortium are thanked for their assistance. The authors also wish to thank Dr Dominic A. Scu-diero of the National Institutes of Health for DNA and RNA from MDA-MB-435-DTP cells. This work was primarily supported by the Victorian Breast Cancer Research Consortium and grants from the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (N003173), US-DOD (BC 021320) and NIH (R21 CA87244-01). We thank the Microscopy and Imaging, Tissue Culture, Biostatistics, Research Computing, and Macromolecular Shared Resources of the Lombardi Cancer Center, which are partially supported by PHS grant NIH 1P30-CA-51008 (Cancer Center Support Grant) to Lombardi Cancer Center.


  • Breast cancer
  • Cell lines
  • Chromosomal number
  • MDA-MB-435
  • Melanoma
  • Microsatellite analysis
  • Tyrosinase


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