Establishment and characterization of a human intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma cell line derived from an Italian patient.
Biliary tract carcinoma is a rare malignancy with multiple causes, which underlie the different genetic and molecular profiles. Cancer cell lines are affordable models, reflecting the characteristics of the tumor of origin. They represent useful tools to identify molecular targets for treatment. Here, we established and characterized from biological, molecular, and genetic point of view, an Italian intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma cell line (ICC), the MT-CHC01. MT-CHC01 cells were isolated from a tumor-derived xenograft. Immunophenotypical characterization was evaluated both at early and after stabilization passages. In vitro biological, genetic, and molecular features were also investigated. In vivo tumorigenicity was assessed in NOD/SCID mice. MT-CHC01cells retain epithelial cell markers, EPCAM, CK7, and CK19, and some stemness and pluripotency markers, i.e., SOX2, Nanog, CD49f/integrin-α6, CD24, PDX1, FOXA2, and CD133. They grow as a monolayer, with a population double time of about 40 h; they show a low migration and invasion potential. In low attachment conditions, they are able to form spheres and to growth in anchorage-independent manner. After subcutaneous injection, they retain in vivo tumorigenicity; the expression of biliary markers as CA19-9 and CEA were maintained from primary tumor. The karyotype is highly complex, with a hypotriploid to hypertriploid modal number (3n+/-) (52 to 77 chromosomes); low level of HER2 gene amplification, TP53 deletion, gain of AURKA were identified; K-RAS G12D mutation were maintained from primary tumor to MT-CHC01 cells. We established the first ICC cell line derived from an Italian patient. It will help to study either the biology of this tumor or to test drugs both in vitro and in vivo.