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In cell biology, U87 is a human primary glioblastoma cell line that is commonly used in brain cancer research.[1]

History and Characteristics[edit]

Formally known as U-87 MG (abbreviation for Uppsala 87 Malignant Glioma), the U87 cell line has an epithelial morphology and was obtained from a 44-year-old female patient in 1966 at Uppsala University. The cell line was thought to be deposited at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in 1973, after which the ATCC obtained it in 1982.[2] However, in 2016 the commonly used version of U87MG (from the ATCC) was found to be non-identical to its patient of origin.[3] The entire sequence of the genome of U-87 MG has been published in PLoS Genetics.[1] U-87 MG can be obtained from the American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) where it is known by the accession number HTB-14.

Growth conditions[edit]

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


  1. ^ a b 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. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1000832. PMC 2813426. PMID 20126413.
  2. ^ Dolgin, Ellie (31 August 2016). "Venerable brain-cancer cell line faces identity crisis". Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  3. ^ 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. doi:10.1126/scitranslmed.aaf6853. PMID 27582061.
  4. ^ "HTB-14". ATCC.

External links[edit]