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Catalogue No.


Cell Line Name


Cell Line Description

This MCF7 subline was established by stepwise reductions in the serum concentration from 5% foetal calf serum to 0.5 % in growth medium consisting of DMEM: Ham's F-12 medium (1:1) supplemented with 2mM glutamine and insulin (6ng/ml). MCF7/S0.5 expresses both oestrogen receptor and progesterone receptors.

General Info



Release Conditions

Restricted - commercial organisations are required to complete the 'Cell Line Release Authorisation for Research Use in Commercial Organisations' release conditions form in the supporting documents section.



Oestrogen receptor and progesterone receptors

Tissue of Origin



Adherent polygonal epithelia

DNA profile (STR Profile)

Amelogenin: X
CSF1PO: 10
D3S1358: 16
D5S818: 11,12
D7S820: 9
D8S1179: 10,14
D13S317: 11
D16S539: 11,12
D18S51: 4,14
D21S11: 30
FGA: 23,25
TH01: 6
TPOX: 9,12
vWA: 14,15


The MCF7/S0.5 cell line has been established to grow at low serum. The presence of hormones in the serum required in tissue culture media complicates the demonstration of specific hormone and anti-hormone effects. MCF-7/S0.5 cell line has been adapted for long-term growth at 0.5 % foetal bovine serum in order to reduce the oestrogen supply via serum and to enable oestrogen receptor-mediated growth inhibition with the anti-oestrogen, tamoxifen. The MCF7/S0.5 cells are also useful for studies of effect of oestrogens if they are cultivated with 10% newborn calf serum which contains very low oestrogenic activity instead of 1 % foetal calf serum.



Culture Conditions

Cell Type


Subculture Routine

Split sub-confluent cultures (70-80%) 1:3 to 1:6 i.e. seeding at 2-4x10⁴ cells/cm² using 0.05% trypsin or trypsin or 0.05% trypsin/EDTA solution; 5% CO₂; 37°C.Recommend media changes every 2-3 days

Culture Medium

Phenol-red-free DMEM/F12 medium supplemented with 1% foetal calf serum 2.5 mM Glutamax and 6 ng/ml insulin

Growth Mode


Additional Info


Cancer Research Technologies Limited (Ximbio)

Country of Origin


Hazard Group (ACDP)

Hazard Group (ACDP) 2



Briand P., Lykkesfeldt A.E. Effect of estrogen and antiestrogen on the human breast cancer cell line MCF-7 adapted to growth at low serum concentration. Cancer Res. 44:1114-1119(1984). PMID: 6362856


Thomsen et al. 2015. Breast Cancer Res Treat. :. PMID: 26585578 Lykkesfeldt et al. 1989. Mol Cell Endocrinol. 62(2):287-96. PMID: 2744230 Briand et al. 1984. Cancer Res. 44(3):1114-9. PMID: 6362856

Available Formats

  • Frozen

If use of this culture results in a scientific publication, it should be cited in the publication as: MCF7/S0.5 (ECACC 16022501).

Unless specified otherwise, at ECACC we routinely handle all of our cell lines at containment level 2 in accordance with the ACDP guidelines (Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens) (UK). All cell cultures have the potential to carry as yet unidentified adventitious agents. It is the responsibility of the end user to ensure that their facilities comply with biosafety regulations for their own country.

ACDP Guidance: Biological agents: Managing the risks in laboratories and healthcare premises.

The Culture Collections represent deposits of cultures from world-wide sources. While every effort is made to ensure details distributed by Culture Collections are accurate, Culture Collections cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies in the data supplied. References where quoted are mainly attributed to the establishment of the cell culture and not for any specific property of the cell line, therefore further references should be obtained regarding cell culture characteristics. Passage numbers where given act only as a guide and Culture Collections does not guarantee the passage number stated will be the passage number received by the customer.

Cultures supplied by Culture Collections are for research purposes only. Enquiries regarding the commercial use of a cell line are referred to the depositor of the cell line. Some cell lines have additional special release conditions such as the requirement for a material transfer agreement to be completed by the potential recipient prior to the supply of the cell line. Please view the Terms & Conditions of Supply for more information.