Establishment and characterization of 4 new human pancreatic cancer cell lines: Evidences of different tumor phenotypes

Barbara Chifenti, Mariangela Morelli, Michele Zavaglia, Domenico A. Coviello, Silvana Guerneri, Annalisa Santucci, Alessandro Paffetti, Massimo Masetti, Maria Teresa Locci, Gloria Bertacca, Alessandra Capodanno, Paola Collecchi, Daniela Campani, Franco Mosca, Generoso Bevilacqua, Andrea O. Cavazzana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVES: Pancreatic cancer still remains a challenge for its biological complexity and lack of effective therapeutic strategies. Establishing new pancreatic cancer cell lines is therefore of paramount importance to clarify its biology. METHODS: We established and characterized 4 new pancreatic cancer cell lines (PP78, PP109, PP117, and PP161) according to their genetic (K-Ras, TP53, CDKN2A, and MADH4; DNA fingerprinting; karyotype), cytostructural (cytokeratins 7, 8, 18, and 19 vimentin, and ezrin), and functional profiles (doubling time; migration assay). RESULTS: K-Ras, TP53, and CDKN2A gene alterations were detected in all 4 of them. Each cell line had a unique DNA profile revealed by DNA fingerprinting. A complex karyotype with numerous structural and numeric chromosomal abnormalities was present in each cell line. All 4 cell lines showed positivity for cytokeratins 7, 8, and 18. All but PP78 expressed cytokeratin 19, whereas vimentin was expressed only in PP117 and PP78 cells. A different ezrin cellular distribution was noticed in PP78 and PP117, being mostly located at membrane ruffles. This peculiar distribution was associated with the strongest migratory capability. CONCLUSIONS: Our results seem to confirm the pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma heterogeneity; in fact, the same genetic abnormalities (K-Ras, TP53, and CDKN2A) may have different effects on tumor biology depending on cellular differentiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-196
Number of pages13
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009


  • Cell lines
  • Cytogenetic
  • Ezrin
  • Molecular genetics
  • Pancreatic cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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