The use of restriction fragment polymorphisms to identify the cell line MCF-7

Kathryn A. Graham, Jeffrey M. Trent, C. Kent Osborne, Charles M. McGrath, Mark D. Minden, Ronald N. Buick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


We have recently documented variations in the level of N-ras gene amplification in independently passaged MCF-7 cells. To establish if these differences are due to a lack of genetic identity between current MCF-7 passages and the original cell line, we have performed karyological and restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analyses. Documentation of a combination of restriction fragment patterns which are characteristic of MCF-7 has been facilitated by an analysis of DNA from an early-passage of MCF-7 from the Michigan Cancer Foundation (MCF). In addition, such early passage cells and other MCF-7 lines also share a unique amplification of the N-ras oncogene. Using these criteria and karyotypic analysis it can be shown that a sample of MCF-7 obtained from the American Type Culture Collection (-ATCC) was derived from a different individual than was the original MCF-7 cell line. It is important that researchers verify the relationship of current cell lines to the original MCF-7. Furthermore, the techniques described here provide a powerful tool which may be used to assess the identity of cell stocks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-34
Number of pages6
JournalBreast Cancer Research and Treatment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1986
Externally publishedYes


  • MCF-7
  • N-ras gene amplification
  • cell line identity
  • restriction fragment length polymorphism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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