Calu-3 cells were first derived in 1975 by Germain Trempe and Jorgen Fogh of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. The cells were isolated from the pleural effusion of a 25-year-old Caucasian male with a lung adenocarcinoma.
The Calu-3 cell line grows as an adherent monolayer and overexpresses the ERBB2 gene, leading to active ErbB2/Her2. The cells also express CK7, occludin, and E-cadherin. Calu-3 cells also have large amounts of cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator.
Calu-3 cells are commonly used as both in vitro and in vivo models for drug development against lung cancer. The cells have been used in studies of pulmonary drug delivery, demonstrating a capacity to intake low molecular weight substances. Calu-3 cells have served as respiratory models for air intake and lung injury due to their responsiveness to foreign substances. The Calu-3 cell line has shown to be useful in the study of chloride ion secretion by lung epithelial cells. The cells may be used in high-throughput screening applications focused on barrier integrity and surface protein expression of lung cells.
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- Kreft, Mateja; et al. (10 March 2015). "The characterization of the human cell line Calu-3 under different culture conditions and its use as an optimized in vitro model to investigate bronchial epithelial function". European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. 69: 1–9. doi:10.1016/j.ejps.2014.12.017. PMID 25555374.
- Shen, BQ; et al. (May 1994). "Calu-3: a human airway epithelial cell line that shows cAMP-dependent Cl- secretion". American Journal of Physiology. 266 (5): 493–501. doi:10.1152/ajplung.1994.266.5.L493. PMID 7515578.
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- Haghi, Mehra; et al. (11 February 2010). "Time- and passage-dependent characteristics of a Calu-3 respiratory epithelial cell model". Drug Development and Industrial Pharmacy. 36 (10): 1207–1214. doi:10.3109/03639041003695113. PMID 20374185.