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Catalogue No.


Cell Line Name


Cell Line Description

MDA-MB-231 was established from a pleural effusion of a 51 year old woman with metastatic breast cancer.

Access Cell line profile for this product.

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.


Tissue of Origin


DNA profile (STR Profile)

Amelogenin: X
CSF1PO: 12,13
D5S818: 12
D7S820: 8,9
D13S317: 13
D16S539: 12
TH01: 7,9.3
TPOX: 8,9
vWA: 15,18


Range 52-68, Modal number 64, near triploid



Culture Conditions

Cell Type


Subculture Routine

Split sub-confluent cultures (70-80%) 1:3 to 1:6, i.e. seeding at 1-3 x10,000 cells/cm² using 0.05% trypsin or trypsin/EDTA; 37°C. CO₂ is not required.

Culture Medium

L15 + 2mM Glutamine + 15% Foetal Bovine Serum (FBS).

Growth Mode


Additional Info


The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center Office of Technology Commercialization 7515 S. Main, Suite 490, Unit 0510 Houston, Texas 77030

Country of Origin

United States

Hazard Group (ACDP)

Hazard Group (ACDP) 2



Cailleau R, Young R, Olivé M, Reeves WJ Jr 1974 Breast tumor cell lines from pleural effusions. J Natl Cancer Inst. 53(3):661-74. PMID: 4412247.


Cruciger QV, Pathak S, Cailleau R.1976 Human breast carcinomas: marker chromosomes involving 1q in seven cases. Cytogenet Cell Genet. 17(4):231-5. PMID: 1001030. Cailleau R, Olivé M, Cruciger QV 1978 Long-term human breast carcinoma cell lines of metastatic origin: preliminary characterization. In Vitro. 14(11):911-5.PMID: 730202. Brinkley BR, Beall PT, Wible LJ, Mace ML, Turner DS, Cailleau RM 1980 Variations in cell form and cytoskeleton in human breast carcinoma cells in vitro. Cancer Res.;40(9):3118-29.PMID: 7000337. Siciliano MJ, Barker PE, Cailleau R 1979 Mutually exclusive genetic signatures of human breast tumor cell lines with a common chromosomal marker. Cancer Res.39(3):919-22. PMID: 427779. Huguet EL, McMahon JA, McMahon AP, Bicknell R, Harris AL 1994 Differential expression of human Wnt genes 2, 3, 4, and 7B in human breast cell lines and normal and disease states of human breast tissue. Cancer Res. 54(10):2615-21. PMID: 8168088. Bates SE, Valverius EM, Ennis BW, Bronzert DA, Sheridan JP, Stampfer MR, Mendelsohn J, Lippman ME, Dickson RB 1990 Expression of the transforming growth factor-alpha/epidermal growth factor receptor pathway in normal human breast epithelial cells. Endocrinology. 126(1):596-607. PMID: 2294006. Satya-Prakash KL, Pathak S, Hsu TC, Olivé M, Cailleau R.1981 Cytogenetic analysis on eight human breast tumor cell lines: high frequencies of 1q, 11q and HeLa-like marker chromosomes.Cancer Genet Cytogenet. 3(1):61-73. PMID: 7272986. Littlewood-Evans AJ, Bilbe G, Bowler WB, Farley D, Wlodarski B, Kokubo T, Inaoka T, Sloane J, Evans DB, Gallagher JA.1997 The osteoclast-associated protease cathepsin K is expressed in human breast carcinoma. Cancer Res. 57(23):5386-90. PMID: 9393764. Abaan OD, Polley EC, Davis SR, Zhu YJ, Bilke S, Walker RL, Pineda M, Gindin Y, Jiang Y, Reinhold WC, Holbeck SL, Simon RM, Doroshow JH, Pommier Y, Meltzer PS.2013 The exomes of the NCI-60 panel: a genomic resource for cancer biology and systems pharmacology. Cancer Res. 73(14):4372-82. PMID: 23856246.

Available Formats

  • Frozen

If use of this culture results in a scientific publication, it should be cited in the publication as: MDA-MB-231 (ECACC 92020424).

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.