Recombination phenotypes of the NCI-60 collection of human cancer cells

Dawn M. Stults, Michael W. Killen, Brent J. Shelton, Andrew J. Pierce

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7 Scopus citations


Background: The NCI-60 is a collection of tumor cell lines derived from a variety of human adult cancer tissue types and is commonly used for genetic analysis and screening of potential chemotherapeutic agents. We wanted to understand the contributions of specific mechanisms of genomic instability to the etiology of cancers represented by the NCI-60.Results: We screened the NCI-60 for dysregulated homologous recombination by using the gene cluster instability (GCI) assay we pioneered, and for defects in base excision repair by sensitivity to 5-hydroxymethyl-2'-deoxyuridine (hmdUrd). We identified subsets of the NCI-60 lines that either displayed the characteristic molecular signature of GCI or were sensitive to hmdUrd. With the exception of the NCI-H23 lung cancer line, these phenotypes were not found to overlap. None of the lines examined in either subset exhibited significant changes in the frequency of sister chromatid exchanges (SCE), neither did any of the lines in either subset exhibit microsatellite instability (MSI) indicative of defects in DNA mismatch repair.Conclusions: Gene cluster instability, sensitivity to hmdUrd and sister chromatid exchange are mechanistically distinct phenomena. Genomic instability in the NCI-60 appears to involve only one mechanism of instability for each individual cell line.

Original languageEnglish
Article number23
JournalBMC Molecular Biology
StatePublished - May 17 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge the Markey Cancer Center for generous financial support.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology


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