Authenticated Colorectal Cancer Cell Lines for Cancer Research

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second most common cancer in women, and the third most common in men. For statistics combining men and women, CRC is the fourth leading cause of cancer mortality. More than half of the CRC cases reported are in developed countries, with the incidence increasing in developing countries. Colorectal cancer accounts for 10% of cancer-related deaths in western countries. Despite innovative therapeutic advances, mortality rates for colorectal cancer patients remains high1.

Types of cancer

Most colorectal cancers are classified as adenocarcinomas. Other, less common, types include gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST), carcinoid or neuroendocrine tumors, small cell carcinomas, and lymphomas, which typically start in cells of the immune system, but can also arise in other organs such as the colon or rectum1.

Cancer cell panels listed below are derived from adenocarcinoma.

Risk factors

Etiology and risk factors are both genetic and environmental. There is an increase in the incidence of colorectal cancer if first-degree family members are positive for the disease1.  Lifestyle factors like smoking, alcohol consumption and obesity also increase the incidence of colorectal cancer.


The most common genes altered (mutations with frequency >30%) in colorectal cancer includes APC, TP53, ERBB2, KRAS, PTEN, and BRAF.

Choose cell lines from the table below based on mutation, and click genes to find relevant products (antibodies, shRNA, siRNA, primers, CRISPR plasmids) for your research study.


Small molecules/monoclonal antibodies

Small molecule compounds and antibodies can be used to target specific cancer cells and block tumor growth and progression. The most common drugs used to target colorectal cancer include:


Cancer cell lines are the foundation for cancer research, and provide an accessible, cost-effective model for cellular behavior and response. Based on the characteristics of the cell line and experimental need, cell lines may be used in one or more applications. Some examples of application-specific cell line use are included below.


Application Cell line used
Drug response studies Spheroid models developed from Caco-2, DLD-1, COLO 205, HT-29 and HCT116  mimic the tumor environment and were employed to study drug response2
Evaluation of new treatment strategies LS174 cell line was used as a model of colon carcinoma to evaluate the efficacy of anti-TAG-72 immunoliposomes3
CR4, a highly tumorigenic cell line, provided an important tool for the development of novel therapeutic strategies4
Target identification/validation SW480 cell line was used to investigate  β-catenin as a novel target for cancer therapy5
Targeted drug delivery SW480  was employed to evaluate the efficacy of doxorubicin in conjugation with EGF receptor-binding peptide in doxorubicin-resistant cell lines (targeted delivery)6
Growth factor signaling HT29-MTX-E12 in the undifferentiated state acts as model for cell-nutrient interaction studies, and was used to study the effect of growth factors on intestinal cell viability7
Cell migration studies The role of JNK signaling in cell migration and invasion was studied in the  COLO 205 cell line8
In vitro models OE-19 cell line was used as model for Barrett’s carcinogenesis to study the role of ghrelin on disease pathogenesis9
Metastasis studies COLO 205 cell line was used as model to study the role of E-cadherin in cancer metastasis10


ECACC Colorectal Cancer Cell Lines

Product No. Cell Name Cell Line Origin
86010202 CACO-2 Human Caucasian colon adenocarcinoma
9042001 CACO-2 Human Caucasian colon adenocarcinoma, intestinal permeability characteristics tested
87091201 COLO 201 Human Caucasian colon adenocarcinoma
87061208 COLO 205 Human Caucasian colon adenocarcinoma
93052620 COLO 206F Human colon carcinoma
93051118 COLO 320 DMF Human colon carcinoma
87061205 COLO 320DM Human Caucasian colon adenocarcinoma
87101501 COLO 320HSR Human Caucasian colon adenocarcinoma
93052621 COLO 741 Human colon carcinoma
90062901 DHD/K12/TRb Rat colonic carcinoma
90102540 DLD-1 Human colon adenocarcinoma
95090714 GP2d Human Caucasian colon adenocarcinoma
95090715 GP5d Human Caucasian colon adenocarcinoma
6061901 HCA-2 Human sigmoid colon adenocarcinoma
6061903 HCA-24 Human colon adenocarcinoma
7031601< HCA-46 Human colon adenocarcinoma
6061902 HCA-7 Human colon adenocarcinoma
9071501 HCA-7 Colony 1 Human colorectal adenocarcinoma
9071506 HCA-7 Colony 11 Human colorectal adenocarcinoma
9071509 HCA-7 Colony 24 Human colorectal adenocarcinoma
9071511 HCA-7 Colony 26 Human colorectal adenocarcinoma
9071513 HCA-7 Colony 27 Human colorectal adenocarcinoma
2091238 HCA-7 Colony 29 Human colon carcinoma (subpopulation isolated from the HCA-7 cell line)
9071502 HCA-7 Colony 3 Human colorectal adenocarcinoma
9071516 HCA-7 Colony 30 Human colorectal adenocarcinoma
9071504 HCA-7 Colony 6 Human colorectal adenocarcinoma
91091005 HCT 116 Human colon carcinoma
91030712 HCT-15 Human colon adenocarcinoma
85061104 HT115 Human colon carcinoma
91072201 HT29 Human Caucasian colon adenocarcinoma
92012401 HT29 gluc C1 Human Caucasian colon adenocarcinoma
85061109 HT29/219 Human Caucasian colon carcinoma
85061105 HT55 Human colon carcinoma
88090801 IA-Xs SBR Holtzmann rat small bowel adenocarcinoma
88090801 IA-Xs SBR Holtzmann rat small bowel adenocarcinoma
10092301 LIM1215 Human colorectal carcinoma
87060101 LoVo Human colon adenocarcinoma
94120801 LS 123 Human colon adenocarcinoma
87060401 LS174T Human Caucasian colon adenocarcinoma
87021202 LS180 Human Caucasian colon adenocarcinoma
99011801 MDST8 Human colon carcinoma
87071006 SW 1116 Human Caucasian colon adenocarcinoma
90102543 SW 1417 Human colon adenocarcinoma
87071008 SW 403 Human Caucasian colon adenocarcinoma
89012702 SW 48 Human colon adenocarcinoma
87092801 SW 480 Human colon adenocarcinoma
87051203 SW 620 Human Caucasian colon adenocarcinoma
91030714 SW 948 Human Caucasian colon adenocarcinoma
88021101 T84 Human colon carcinoma
91011802 WB2054M Rat colon carcinoma
85111501 WiDr Human colon adenocarcinoma


  1. Kuipers, E. J., Grady, W. M., Lieberman, D., Seufferlein, T., Sung, J. J., Boelens, P. G., van de Velde, C. J. H., and Watanabe, T. (2015) Colorectal cancer. Nat. Rev. Dis. Primer 1, 15065.
  2. Hoffmann, O. I., Ilmberger, C., Magosch, S., Joka, M., Jauch, K.-W., and Mayer, B. (2015) Impact of the spheroid model complexity on drug response. J. Biotechnol. 205, 14–23.
  3. Kim, K. S., Lee, Y. K., Kim, J. S., Koo, K. H., Hong, H. J., and Park, Y. S. (2008) Targeted gene therapy of LS174 T human colon carcinoma by anti-TAG-72 immunoliposomes. Cancer Gene Ther. 15, 331–340.
  4. Rowehl, R. A., Burke, S., Bialkowska, A. B., Pettet, D. W., Rowehl, L., Li, E., Antoniou, E., Zhang, Y., Bergamaschi, R., Shroyer, K. R., Ojima, I., and Botchkina, G. I. (2014) Establishment of highly tumorigenic human colorectal cancer cell line (CR4) with properties of putative cancer stem cells. PloS One 9, e99091.
  5. Li, K., Zhou, Z.-Y., Ji, P.-P., and Luo, H.-S. (2016) Knockdown of β-catenin by siRNA influences proliferation, apoptosis and invasion of the colon cancer cell line SW480. Oncol. Lett. 11, 3896–3900.
  6. Ai, S., Jia, T., Ai, W., Duan, J., Liu, Y., Chen, J., Liu, X., Yang, F., Tian, Y., and Huang, Z. (2013) Targeted delivery of doxorubicin through conjugation with EGF receptor-binding peptide overcomes drug resistance in human colon cancer cells. Br. J. Pharmacol. 168, 1719–1735.
  7. Giromini, C., Baldi, A., Fusi, E., Rebucci, R., and Purup, S. (2015) Effect of growth factors, estradiol 17-β, and short chain fatty acids on the intestinal HT29-MTX cells: Growth factors and SCFAs effects on intestinal E12 cells. Cell Biol. Toxicol. 31, 199–209.
  8. Zhang, Y., Lin, L., Jin, Y., Lin, Y., Cao, Y., and Zheng, C. (2016) Overexpression of WNT5B promotes COLO 205 cell migration and invasion through the JNK signaling pathway. Oncol. Rep. 36, 23–30.
  9. Konturek, P. C., Burnat, G., Rau, T., Hahn, E. G., and Konturek, S. (2008) Effect of adiponectin and ghrelin on apoptosis of Barrett adenocarcinoma cell line. Dig. Dis. Sci. 53, 597–605.
  10. Petrova, Y. I., Schecterson, L., and Gumbiner, B. M. (2016) Roles for E-cadherin cell surface regulation in cancer. Mol. Biol. Cell 27, 3233–3244.