Saos-2: Human Osteosarcoma Cell Line

SK 771


Saos-2 is a human osteosarcoma cell line, which displays several osteoblastic features. These cells express receptors for 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 and have high basal alkaline-phosphatase activity. They express the parathyroid hormone (PTH) receptor and produce cyclic AMP in response to treatment with PTH. These cells do not form tumors when injected subcutaneously into immunocompromised mice. When injected into diffusion chambers that are implanted intra-peritoneally into immunocompromised mice, however, Saos-2 cells produce a mineralized matrix, which is a defining characteristic of osteoblastic cells. All of these characteristics make this cell line an attractive source of bone-related molecules for research.


This cell line was established in 1973 from an 11-year-old Caucasian female with osteogenic sarcoma.


Jorgen Fogh, PhD, formerly at Sloan Kettering Institute, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

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)
  • Rodan SB et al. (1987) Characterization of a human osteosarcoma cell line (Saos-2) with osteoblastic properties. Cancer Research 47: 4961-4966 (PubMed ID: 3040234)

Licensing Information

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

Contact Information

  • For licensing requests: Alexandra Buga, MBA, Business Development Analyst, Office of Technology Development, MSK, 646-888-1078,
  • For non-licensing requests from academic-research institutions: Frances Weis-Garcia, PhD, Associate Laboratory Member/Head, Antibody & Bioresource Core Facility, MSK, 646-888-2354,

Stage of Development

Ready to use