SK-LU-1: Human Lung Cancer Cell Line



SK-LU-1 is a lung adenocarcinoma cell line that displays epithelial morphology and grows in adherent culture. This cell line expresses mutant K-Ras (G12D) and has homozygous deletions in the CDH6 and CDKN2A genes. These cells do not express the enzyme telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) and consequently lack telomerase activity. This correlates with significantly reduced tumorigenicity in vitro and in vivo. These cells, however, display characteristics of alternative telomere lengthening (ALT) mechanisms (i.e., heterogeneity of telomere lengths and the presence of distinct nuclear structures called ALT-associated promyelocytic leukemia bodies). The SK-LU-1 cells do not form tumors when injected into immunocompromised mice.


This cell line was established in 1969 from a 60-year-old Caucasian female with adenocarcinoma of the lung.


Chester M. Southam, MD, 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)
  • Lehman TA et al. (1991) p53 mutations, ras mutations, and p53-heat shock 70 protein complexes in human lung carcinoma cell lines. Cancer Research 51: 4090-4096 (PubMed ID: 1855224)
  • Brachner A et al. (2006) Telomerase- and alternative telomere lengthening-independent telomere stabilization in a metastasis-derived human non-small cell lung cancer cell line: effect of ectopic hTERT. Cancer Research 66: 3584-3592 (PubMed ID: 16585183)

Licensing Information

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

Contact Information

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

Stage of Development

Ready to use