SK-CO-1: Human Colorectal Adenocarcinoma Cell Line (ATCC HTB-39)



SK-CO-1 is a human colorectal adenocarcinoma cell line that displays epithelial morphology and grows in adherent tissue culture. In culture, these cells are capable of invading through an extracellular matrix, such as Matrigel. SK-CO-1 cells do not form tumors when injected into immunocompromised mice, and rarely form colonies in soft agar. These cells have oncogenic mutations in K-Ras (G12V) and adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) proteins.


This cell line was established in 1972 from a metastatic site (ascites) in a 65-year-old Caucasian male with colorectal adenocarcinoma.


  • Lloyd J. Old, MD, former William E. Snee Chair in Cancer Immunology, Memorial Sloan Kettering; former Director, New York Branch, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research
  • Germain Trempe, formerly at Sloan Kettering Institute, Memorial Sloan Kettering

Key References

  • Fogh J et al. (1977) Absence of HeLa cell contamination in 169 cell lines derived from human tumors. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 58: 209-214 (PubMed ID: 833871)
  • Trainer DL et al. (1988) Biological characterization and oncogene expression in human colorectal carcinoma cell lines. International Journal of Cancer 41: 287-296 (PubMed ID: 3338874)

Licensing Information

This cell line may be licensed nonexclusively for research or commercial purposes.

For internal research purposes by a commercial entity: Utilize MSK’s Express License, attached here. In order to streamline and expedite the licensing of select MSK cell lines, the terms of this non-exclusive license are non-negotiable. Please note: This license is only available for select cell lines, including this one.

To proceed, please download this contract, fill in all relevant fields, and email a scanned version to [email protected]. Once this license has been executed by MSK, you will receive a signed copy and invoice, and can then place your order with ATCC.

For licensing requests for a commercial purpose:  Contact MSK’s Tangible Materials team at [email protected].

For non-licensing requests from academic-research institutions: Contact Frances Weis-Garcia, PhD, Associate Laboratory Member/Head, Antibody & Bioresource Core Facility, MSK, 646-888-2354, [email protected]

Stage of Development

Ready to use