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Further evidence to support the melanocytic origin of MDA-MB-435


Background/Aims: Until recently, the cell line MDA-MB-435 was widely accepted as originating from a breast cancer. However, microarray derived data have suggested that this cell line may in fact originate from an occult melanoma. This study was designed to investigate this hypothesis further.

Methods: Quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemistry were used to investigate the tissue of origin of two sublines of MDA-MB-435 (MDA-MB-435 S and MDA-MB-435 HGF). The expression of a panel of genes typical of breast cells or melanocytes was analysed.

Results: The MDA-MD-435 cell lines expressed none of the genes characteristic of breast cancer cells but did express several genes commonly expressed by melanocytes.

Conclusions: These results strongly suggest that MDA-MB-435 is indeed of melanoma origin.

  • MDA-MB-435 cell line
  • quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction
  • melanoma
  • ATCC, American Type Culture Collection
  • DAB, diaminobenzidine
  • ECACC, European Collection of Cell Cultures
  • EMA, epithelial membrane antigen
  • FCS, fetal calf serum
  • HGF, hepatocyte growth factor
  • HPRT, hypoxanthine ribosyl transferase
  • NEAA, non-essential amino acids
  • RT-PCR, reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction
  • SCID, severe combined immunodeficient

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