09042001 Sigma-Aldrich


Caucasian colon adenocarcinoma



biological source   human colon
growth mode   (Adherent)
karyotype   (Hypertetraploid, modal no. 96)
morphology   Epithelial
products   Not specified
receptors   Not specified
application(s)   cell culture | mammalian: suitable
relevant disease(s)   cancer
shipped in   dry ice
storage temp.   −196°C


Cell Line Origin

Human caucasian colon adenocarcinoma, intestinal permeability characteristics tested

Cell Line Description

Isolated from a primary colonic tumour in a 72-year-old Caucasian male using the explant culture technique. Forms moderately well differentiated adenocarcinomas consistent with colonic primary grade II, in nude mice. This CACO-2 catalogue number has undergone testing for intestinal permeability: Dome, microvilli and tight junction formation and transport functionality tested and confirmed present at ECACC.


CACO-2 has been used in the cytotoxicity studies with high pressure-assisted extraction (HPE) fraction of nettle leaf extracts.
CACO-2 may be used as a cell model to study:
• in vitro permeability assay with various biopharmaceuticals
• in iron uptake and absorption studies
• in the cytotoxicity assay with surfactants and transporter inhibitors
• in liposome formulated drug uptake and cytotoxicity studies

Biochem/physiol Actions

Caco-2 (Cancer coli-2) is derived from colorectal adenocarcinoma and grows as an adherent monolayer of epithelial cells. Caco-2 cell line is a widely used intestinal epithelium model and has unique spontaneous differentiation and confluence property. It actively transports vitamins, hormones, amino acids and sugars. Caco-2 expresses various enzymes, ionic and non-ionic transporters similar to normal human epithelia. Caco-2 cell line models grow on filter support. They have simplicity and reproducibility and provide reliable information. Since Caco-2 mimics the intestinal epithelium, it is the preferred cell model for cytotoxic studies, food and drug transport studies.

DNA Profile

Amelogenin: X
CSF1PO: 11
D13S317: 11,13,14
D16S539: 12,13
D5S818: 12,13
D7S820: 11,12
THO1: 6
TPOX: 9,11
vWA: 16,18

Culture Medium

EMEM (EBSS) + 2mM Glutamine + 1% Non Essential Amino Acids (NEAA) + 10% Foetal Bovine Serum FBS / FCS.

Subculture Routine

Split sub-confluent cultures (70-80%) 1:3 to 1:6 i.e. seeding at 2-4x10,000 cells/cm² using 0.25% trypsin or trypsin/EDTA; 5% CO2; 37°C. NB: During routine subculture the cells should always be subcultured before they achieve confluence. Cells may show the appearance of circular vacuoles in the cytoplasm. These may increase in frequency as the culture density increases to confluence. To reduce their frequency, media change confluent cultures after 2-3 days if not subcultured. Cells can clump if not separated into a single cell suspension when split.

Other Notes

Additional freight & handling charges may be applicable for Asia-Pacific shipments. Please check with your local Customer Service representative for more information.

NaviCyte Scientific holds the exclusive commercial distribution rights to the CACO-2 cell line deposited by the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Note: All uses of Catalogue Numbers 86010202 and 09042001, other than for research by a non-commercial or academic entity, require a license and use authorization from NaviCyte Scientific under its exclusive arrangement with Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. For information on the licensing terms, please contact NaviCyte Scientific via or (+1) 973-868-6100.

Safety & Documentation

Safety Information

WGK Germany 
Flash Point(F) 
188.6 °F - closed cup
Flash Point(C) 
87 °C - closed cup


Certificate of Analysis (COA)

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Protocols & Articles
Peer-Reviewed Papers


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