A549 Cells :: General Information

a549 cell culturea549 cell culture
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A549 Cell Line Origin:

The A549 cell line was first developed in 1972 b D.J Giard, et al. through the removal and culturing of cancerous lung tissue in the explanted tumor of 58-year-old caucausian male. The cells produced were adenocarcinomic alveolar basal epithelial cells with a modal chromosome number of 66. This type of cell, in a normal lung, is squamous and performs the task of diffusing water, electrolytes and other substances across the surface of the alveoli.

A549 Cytogenetic Information:

The cell line is hypotriploid with a modal chromosome number of 66, which occurs in 24% of cells. modal number 64 and 67 is relatively common with higher ploidies occurring at an infrequent rate (0.4%)

Morphology and Characteristics of A549 Cells:

A549 cells are human alveolar basal epithelial cells. These are squamous in nature and responsible for the diffusion of substances, such as water and electrolytes, across the alveoli of lungs. They grow adherently, as a monolayer, in vivo.

The squamous epithelial cells are positive for keratin, as is evidenced by immunoperoxidase staining. These cells are also able to synthesize lecithin and contain a high percentage of desaturated fatty acids, which are utilized by the cytidine-diphospho-choline pathway and important for the maintenance of membrane phospholipids in cells.


Chemokine production by A549 cells in response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis: In this study, A549 cells were infected with several strains of M. tuberculosis and then their chemokine production was measured. In addition, the intracellular growth of the A549 cells was measured and compared with the chemokine production. LINK: http://iai.asm.org/content/66/3/1121.long

Observation of differentiation in A549 cells: Monolayer cultures of A549 cells were maintained for up to three weeks, and examined using an immunoperoxidase technique. This technique used antibodies to detect surface-associated glycoproteins, which bound differently to certain A549 cells, indicating localization of the glycoproteins. LINK: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6092046