The hut series of 'carcinogen-transformed' human fibroblast cell lines are derived from the human fibrosarcoma cell line 8387

J. Justin Mccormick, Dajun Yang, Veronica M. Maher, Rosann A. Farber, Wilma Neuman, Ward D. Peterson, Marilyn S. Pollack

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17 Scopus citations


In 1977 Kakunaga reported the carcinogen-induced transformation of the diploid human fibroblast cell line KD into focus-forming, morphologically altered cells. Cell lines were developed from 15 individual foci. These exhibited an infinite lifespan in culture and all those that were tested (7/7) formed malignant tumors(sarcomas) in athymic mice. The existing cell lines, designated HuT-11 to HuT-14, have been studied intensively during the past decade as examples of human fibroblasts malignantly transformed by treatment with a chemical carcinogen, 4-nitroquinoline-1-oxide. Recently, in comparing the HuT-1, HuT-12 and HuT-14 cell lines with KD cells, McCormick and Maher (Mutat. Res., 199, 273-291, 1988) found evidence that the malignant cells could not have been derived from the latter. But, this did not rule out the possibility that as the target cells for his original study of carcinogen-induced transformation, Kakunaga had inadvertently used cells from some other, unidentified normal individual. Since the donor of such cells would not be known and the original cell line was not available, it would be impossible to determine the degree of identity between such a target cell line and the HuT cell lines. However, in the course of examining methods for such testing, we recently became aware that the isozyme pattern of these HuT cell lines was identical to that of the human fibrosarcoma-derived cell line 8387 established in 1966. We here report that the HuT cell lines and the 8387 cell line also exhibit an identical series of HLA determinants and identical restriction fragment length polymorphisms(RFLPs). Assuming that each of these three assays measures independently inherited characteristics, the chance that an unrelated donor of the fibroblasts that gave rise to the HuT cell lines happened to possess characteristics identical to those of the patient whose fibrosarcoma gave rise to the 8387 cell line is 1 × 10-8. Therefore, we conclude that 8387 cells are the source of the malignant cells designated HuT from Kakunaga's original transformation experiment. Additional RFLP analysis, using a probe made from M13 bacteriophage DNA which detects a hyperpolymorphic 'minisatellite' pattern in human DNA, also showed that DNA from HuT-14 cells and from 8387 cells exhibit identical banding patterns, indicating that the cell lines were taken from the same individual.The latter banding patterns differed from that observed with DNA from KD cells. Karyotyping studies showed that HuT-12 and HuT-14 cells have six marker chromosomes and that these are identical to the six marker chromosomes seen in the 8387 cells. The results emphasize the necessity of validating in vitro transformation experiments by showing that the parental cells and the malignant cells have a common origin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2073-2079
Number of pages7
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research


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