Melanoma in humans is on the rise, with one in 50 individuals likely to have the disease. By developing cell lines that grow readily in culture, Dartmouth investigators led by Constance Brinckerhoff, PhD have created a fast-track research tool that remains applicable to many scientists who use mouse melanoma as a model system. The findings were first published in May 2014 in Pigment Cell Melanoma Research (Multiple murine BRaf(V600E) melanoma cell lines with sensitivity to PLX4032.)
“The ability to study these mouse melanoma cell lines both in culture and in mice with an intact immune system is an experimental advantage,” explained Brinckerhoff.
The team developed a protocol that allows mouse BRAF melanoma cells to grow readily in culture and to be transplanted in syngeneic mice. The cell lines are genetically compatible with a strain of mice that are immunologically competent, while human cells need to be placed into immunologically weakened mice in order to grow.
Since publication, there have been worldwide requests for the cell lines and Brinckerhoff's team is developing additional characterization of the cells. Brinckerhoff reports, “More than 20 labs have contacted us since the paper was published and the feedback we've received indicates investigators worldwide are seeing experimental advantages in using the new cell lines. For years, the lack of mouse cell lines that harbor the BRAF mutation has been a barrier to rapidly moving research forward.”
Norris Cotton Cancer Center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock