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In cell biology, U87 is a human primary glioblastoma cell line formally known as U-87 MG (abbreviation for Uppsala 87 Malignant Glioma). It has epithelial morphology, and was obtained from a stage four 44-year-old cancer patient.[1] In 2016, the commonly used version of U87MG was found to be non-identical to its patient of origin.[2]

U-87 MG can be obtained from the American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) where it is known by the accession number HTB-14.

The entire sequence of the genome of U-87 MG has been published in PLoS Genetics, 2010 January; 6(1): e1000832.

In 2016 Bengt Westermark, a tumour biologist at Uppsala used DNA-fingerprinting techniques to show that the ATCC’s U87 was different from the original U87 tissue, suggesting a contamination, indeed the original cell line was from a woman but the ATCC’s U87 has a Y chromosome, so the real origin of this cell line is unknown. [3]

Growth conditions[edit]

U87 growth media is generally made with Eagle's minimum essential medium + 10% FBS + 100 U/ml penicillin + 100 ug/ml streptomycin.[4] It is propagated at 37 degrees Celsius in a 5% carbon dioxide atmosphere.


  1. ^ Clark, MJ; Homer, N; O'Connor, BD; et al. (January 2010). "U87MG decoded: the genomic sequence of a cytogenetically aberrant human cancer cell line". PLoS Genet. 6 (1): e1000832. PMC 2813426Freely accessible. PMID 20126413. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1000832. 
  2. ^ Allen, M; Bjerke, M; Edlund, H; Nelander, S; Westermark, B (Aug 2016). "Origin of the U87MG glioma cell line: Good news and bad news.". Sci Transl Med. 8: 354re3. PMID 27582061. doi:10.1126/scitranslmed.aaf6853. 
  3. ^ http://www.nature.com/news/venerable-brain-cancer-cell-line-faces-identity-crisis-1.20515
  4. ^ "HTB-14". ATCC. 

External links[edit]