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MCF7 Cell Line

General Information
OrganismHomo sapiens, human
Cell Line DescriptionMCF-7 is a human breast cancer cell line which was first isolated in 1970 from the malignant adenocarcinoma breast tissue of a 69-year old woman. Cells exhibit some features of differentiated mammary epithelium including estradiol synthesis and formation of domes. Cells can carry B or C type retrovirus and are thought to represent a category 2 pathogen (P2 containment). Cells express the wild-type and variant estrogen receptors as well as progesterone receptor.
Tissue of OriginBreast
Age69 years adult
Cell TypeEpithelial
Product FormatFrozen
Growth ModeAdherent
Biosafety Level1
Biosafety classification is based on U.S. Public Health Service Guidelines, it is the responsibility of the customer to ensure that their facilities comply with biosafety regulations for their own country.
ApplicationsCell culture/growth conditions, stable cell transfection, nucleic acid purification, protein expression, gene expression, transient transfection and RNAi
Shipped inDry ice
Storage Temperature−196°C
ReferencesJ Nat Cancer Inst 1973;51:1409; Cancer Res 1993;53:5882
KaryotypeModal number = 82; range = 66 to 87;
The stemline chromosome numbers ranged from hypertriploidy to hypotetraploidy, with the 2S component occurring at 1%. There were 29-34 marker chromosomes per S metaphase; 24-28 markers occurred in at least 30% of cells, and usually one large submetacentric (M1) and 3 large subtelocentric (M2, M3, and M4) markers were recognizable in over 80% of metaphases. No DM were detected. Chromosome 20 was nullisomic and X was disomic.
ImagesMCF7 Cell Line
Genes ExpressedInsulin-like growth factor binding proteins (IGFBP) BP-2; BP-4; BP-5
Antigen ExpressionBlood Type O; Rh+
Receptors ExpressionEstrogen receptor, expressed
OncogeneThe cells express the WNT7B oncogene.
CommentsMCF-7 is a widely studied epithelial cancer cell line derived from breast adenocarcinoma. The cell has characteristics of differentiated mammary epithelium. MCF7 cells can be used for detecting MAPK and PI3K involvement, along with easy detection of ERK and Akt phosphorylation. The growth of MCF7 cells is inhibited by tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α). Secretion of IGFBP's can be modulated by treatment with anti-estrogens.
Culture Conditions and Handling
Culture MediumIn order to make the complete growth medium, add the following components to the base medium: 0.01 mg/ml human recombinant insulin; fetal bovine serum to a final concentration of 10%.

Volumes are given for a 75 cm2 flask. Proportionally increase or reduce the amount of dissociation medium for culture vessels of other sizes.

  1. Remove culture medium to a centrifuge tube.
  2. Briefly rinse the cell layer with 0.25% (w/v) Trypsin - 0.53 mM EDTA solution to remove all traces of serum that contains trypsin inhibitor.
  3. Add 2.0-3.0 mL of Trypsin-EDTA solution to flask and observe cells under an inverted microscope until cell layer is dispersed (usually within 5-15 minutes). Cells that are difficult to detach can be placed at 37°C to facilitate dispersal.
  4. Add 6.0-8.0 mL of complete growth medium and aspirate cells by gently pipetting.
  5. Transfer the cell suspension to the centrifuge tube with the medium and cells from step 1, and centrifuge at 125 x g for 5-10 minutes. Discard the supernatant.
  6. Resuspend the cell pellet in the fresh growth medium. Add appropriate aliquots of the cell suspension to new culture vessels.
  7. Incubate cultures at 37°C.
Subcultivation RatioThe ratio of 1:3 to 1:6 is recommended.
Fluid Renewal2 to 3 times per week
Freeze MediumComplete growth medium 95%; DMSO, 5%
Culture Temperature37°C
AtmosphereAir, 95%; carbon dioxide (CO2), 5%

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For research use only. Not intended for any clinical use.

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