A Unique Panel of Patient-Derived Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma Cell Lines Provides a Preclinical Pathway for Therapeutic Testing

Sakinah Hassan, Karin J Purdie, Jun Wang, Catherine A Harwood, Charlotte M Proby, Celine Pourreyron, Nikol Mladkova, Ai Nagano, Sandeep Dhayade, Dimitris Athineos, Matthew Caley, Viviana Mannella, Karen Blyth, Gareth J Inman, Irene M Leigh
International Journal of Molecular Sciences 2019 July 12, 20 (14)

BACKGROUND: Cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) incidence continues to rise with increasing morbidity and mortality, with limited treatment options for advanced disease. Future improvements in targeted therapy will rely on advances in genomic/transcriptomic understanding and the use of model systems for basic research. We describe here the panel of 16 primary and metastatic cSCC cell lines developed and characterised over the past three decades in our laboratory in order to provide such a resource for future preclinical research and drug screening.

METHODS: Primary keratinocytes were isolated from cSCC tumours and metastases, and cell lines were established. These were characterised using short tandem repeat (STR) profiling and genotyped by whole exome sequencing. Multiple in vitro assays were performed to document their morphology, growth characteristics, migration and invasion characteristics, and in vivo xenograft growth.

RESULTS: STR profiles of the cSCC lines allow the confirmation of their unique identity. Phylogenetic trees derived from exome sequence analysis of the matched primary and metastatic lines provide insight into the genetic basis of disease progression. The results of in vivo and in vitro analyses allow researchers to select suitable cell lines for specific experimentation.

CONCLUSIONS: There are few well-characterised cSCC lines available for widespread preclinical experimentation and drug screening. The described cSCC cell line panel provides a critical tool for in vitro and in vivo experimentation.

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