AAT Bioquest

What are the common cell lines?

Posted March 13, 2023


Cell lines are commonly used in lieu of primary cells to study various biological processes. Some of the more common cell lines include: 

HeLa Cells - The oldest and most widely used human cell line in research labs around the world, HeLa cells were derived from cervical cancer cells. They are used for a number of processes including preclinical drug evaluation and virus cultivation. Scientists also use HeLa cells to develop cancer research that tests if a cell line is cancerous or not. 

HEK293 Cells - Epithelial cells derived from a human embryonic kidney, HEK293 are another commonly used cell line in cell biology research. HEK293 cells are often the cell line of choice in electrophysiological experiments, production of viral vectors, protein expression and production, and transient and stable transformation experiments. 

Sf9 Cells - Sf9 cells are insect epithelial cells derived from the fall armyworm moth’s ovaries. They can be cultured as adherent or suspension cells and are widely used for high-level protein expression for purification purposes.  

CHO cells - Ovary-derived cells, CHO or Chinese hamster ovary cells are used in a wide range of medical, pharmaceutical, and biological research applications including the production of recombinant protein. Scientists also use CHO cells to study the epidermal growth factor receptor. 

MCF-7 (breast cancer cells) - MCF-7 is a human breast cancer cell line that is used primarily as an in vitro model to study the biology of breast cancer, develop chemotherapeutic drugs, and understand drug resistance.

 HL 60 (Leukemia) - A human leukemia cell line, HL 60 is used extensively in laboratory research on immunology, immune disorder, and blood cell formation and physiology.

Additional resources

Human cell lines for biopharmaceutical manufacturing: history, status, and future perspectives

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