Establishment and characterization of a novel nasopharyngeal carcinoma cell line (SUNE2) from a Cantonese patient

Department of Experimental Research, Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, Guangzhou, Guangdong, People's Republic of China.
Chinese journal of cancer (Impact Factor: 2.16). 12/2011; 31(1):36-44. DOI: 10.5732/cjc.011.10317
Source: PubMed


The undifferentiated form of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is the most common malignant head and neck cancer in South China, especially in Cantonese populations. However, few NPC cell lines have been established from the patients in this region. In this study, we established a new NPC cell line, termed SUNE2, from a Cantonese patient with undifferentiated NPC. This cell line had extremely low concentrations of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) DNA in long-term culture and expressed low levels of latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1), latent membrane protein 2A (LMP2A), BamH1-A right frame 1 (BARF1), EBV-encoded RNA-1 (EBER1), and EBV-encoded RNA-2 (EBER2) in early passages. SUNE2 cells also showed much stronger transforming ability than 5-8F cells in colony formation assays and anchorage-independent growth assays in soft agar, and they only need 2 weeks to form tumors in nude mice. In summary, the SUNE2 cell line is a new in vitro model that can be used for further research on the mechanisms underlying the occurrence and development of NPC.

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