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U251 MG

U251 MG

Catalogue No.


Cell Line Name

U251 MG

Cell Line Description

Derived from a malignant glioblastoma tumour by explant technique. U-251 was formerly distributed as U-373 MG (ECACC catalogue number 89081403) until short tandem repeat (STR)-PCR profiling confirmed identity with U-251. A new deposit of U-373 MG known as U-373 MG (Uppsala) is now available (ECACC catalogue number 08061901).Background to the identity query for the cell line U-373 MG: The American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) reported that their stock of U-373 MG had been shown to have differing genetic properties to stock from the originator's laboratory, and to share similarities with another glioblastoma cell line, U-251. In light of this, ECACC undertook an investigation into the authenticity of its own stock of the U-373 MG cell line. ECACC found similar results to the ATCC i.e. the stock held as U-373 MG was found to be identical by STR-PCR profiling to U-251. The U-373 MG cell line listed under catalogue number 89081403 has been re-named as ‘U-251 MG (formerly known as U-373 MG)' and has the new ECACC catalogue number 09063001.



PDGFR alpha and EGFR. See Nistér M. et al., (1988) & (1991)


Contains GFAP positive cells

Tissue of Origin


DNA profile (STR Profile)

Amelogenin: X,Y
CSF1PO: 11,12
D5S818: 11,12
D7S820: 10,12
D13S317: 10,11
D16S539: 12
TH01: 9.3
vWA: 16,18


2n = 46


None Stated

Culture Conditions

Cell Type

Pleomorphic, Astrocytoid

Subculture Routine

Split sub-confluent cultures (70-80%) 1:3 to 1:6 i.e. seeding at 2-4x10,000 cells/cm² using 0.05% trypsin or trypsin/EDTA; 5% CO₂; 37°C.

Culture Medium

EMEM (EBSS) + 2mM Glutamine + 1% Non Essential Amino Acids (NEAA) + 1mM Sodium Pyruvate (NaP) + 10% Foetal Bovine Serum (FBS).

Growth Mode


Additional Info


Professor Bengt Westermark, Department of Genetics and Pathology, University Hospital, S-751 85 Uppsala, Sweden.

Country of Origin


Hazard Group (ACDP)

Hazard Group (ACDP) 2



Pontén, J., Macintyre, E. H. (1968) Long term culture of normal and neoplastic human glia. Acta Pathol Microbiol Scand A. 74, 465-486 PMID: 4313504.


Westermark B. et al., (1973) Determinants for the establishment of permanent tissue culture lines from human gliomas. Acta Pathol Microbiol Scand A. 81:791-805. PMID: 4359449. Pontén, J. & Westermark B. (1978) Properties of Human Malignant Glioma Cells in Vitro. Medical biology 56: 184-193 PMID: 359950.Nistér M. et al., (1988) Expression of messenger RNAs for platelet-derived growth factor and transforming growth factor-alpha and their receptors in human malignant glioma cell lines. Cancer Res. Jul 15; 48(14):3910-8 PMID: 2454731.Nistér M. et al., (1991) Differential expression of platelet-derived growth factor receptors in human malignant glioma cell lines. J Biol Chem. Sep 5; 266(25):16755-63 PMID: 1653246. 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. Torsvik A, Stieber D, Enger PO, Golebiewska A, Molven A, Svendsen A, Westermark B, Niclou SP, Olsen TK, Chekenya Enger M, Bjerkvig R. 2014 U-251 revisited: genetic drift and phenotypic consequences of long-term cultures of glioblastoma cells. Cancer Med. 2014 May 8. doi: 10.1002/cam4.219. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 24810477.

Available Formats

  • Frozen

If use of this culture results in a scientific publication, it should be cited in the publication as: U251 MG (ECACC 09063001).

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.