Mistaken identity of widely used esophageal adenocarcinoma cell line TE-7

JJ Boonstra, AW van der Velden, ECW Beerens, R van Marion, Y Morita-Fujimura, Y Matsui, T Nishihira, Chris Tselepis, P Hainaut, AW Lowe, BH Beverloo, H van Dekken, HW Tilanus, WNM Dinjens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

40 Citations (Scopus)


Cancer of the esophagus is the seventh leading cause of cancer death worldwide. Esophageal carcinoma cell lines are useful models to study the biological and genetic alterations in these tumors. An important prerequisite of cell line research is the authenticity of the used cell lines because the mistaken identity of a cell line may lead to invalid conclusions. Estimates indicate that up to 36% of the cell lines are of a different origin or species than supposed. The TE series, established in late 1970s and early 1980s by Nishihira et al. in Japan, is one of the first esophageal cancer cell line series that was used throughout the world. Fourteen TE cell lines were derived from human esophageal squamous cell carcinomas and one, TE-7, was derived from a primary esophageal adenocarcinoma. In numerous studies, this TE-7 cell line was used as a model for esophageal adenocarcinoma because it is one of the few esophageal adenocarcinoma cell lines existing. We investigated the authenticity of the esophageal adenocarcinoma cell line TE-7 by xenografting, short tandem repeat profiling, mutation analyses, and array-comparative genomic hybridization and showed that cell line TE-7 shared the same genotype as the esophageal squamous cell carcinoma cell lines TE-2, TE-3, TE-12, and TE-13. In addition, for more than a decade, independent TE-7 cultures from Japan, United States, United Kingdom, France, and the Netherlands had the same genotype. Examination of the TE-7 cell line xenograft revealed the histology of a squamous cell carcinoma. We conclude that the TE-7 cell line, used in several laboratories throughout the world, is not an adenocarcinoma, but a squamous cell carcinoma cell line. Furthermore, the cell lines TE-2, TE-3, TE-7, TE-12, and TE-13 should be regarded as one single squamous cell carcinoma cell line.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7996-8001
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Research
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2007


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