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Product category
Human cells
Homo sapiens, human
Cell type
epithelial, myoepithelial cell
Breast; Mammary gland
Fibrocystic Disease
3D cell culture
Product format
Storage conditions
Vapor phase of liquid nitrogen
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ATCC determines the biosafety level of a material based on our risk assessment as guided by the current edition of Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is your responsibility to understand the hazards associated with the material per your organization’s policies and procedures as well as any other applicable regulations as enforced by your local or national agencies.

ATCC highly recommends that appropriate personal protective equipment is always used when handling vials. For cultures that require storage in liquid nitrogen, it is important to note that some vials may leak when submersed in liquid nitrogen and will slowly fill with liquid nitrogen. Upon thawing, the conversion of the liquid nitrogen back to its gas phase may result in the vial exploding or blowing off its cap with dangerous force creating flying debris. Unless necessary, ATCC recommends that these cultures be stored in the vapor phase of liquid nitrogen rather than submersed in liquid nitrogen.

Required Products

These products are vital for the proper use of this item and have been confirmed as effective in supporting functionality. If you use alternative products, the quality and effectiveness of the item may be affected.

Detailed product information


Growth properties
Cells derived from an adherent population are available (see MCF 10A, ATCC CRL-10317).
MCF 10F was derived from floating cells in the population.
The line was produced by long term culture in serum free medium with low Ca++ concentration.
36 years
aneuploid human female; 46, XX, 1p+, t(3:9)(p13:p22)
No, in immunosuppressed mice
Yes, in semisolid medium
Expression markers
Epidermal growth factor (EGF), expressed; insulin, expressed; glucocorticoid, expressed
AK-1, 1
ES-D, 1
GLO-I, 1-2
PGM1, 1-2
PGM3, 1

The MCF 10F cell line is a non-tumorigenic epithelial cell line.

The cells are positive for epithelial sialomucins.

Cytokeratins and milk fat globule antigen.

They exhibit three dimensional growth in collagen, and form domes in confluent cultures.

Thus far, the cells have shown no signs of terminal differentiation or senescence.

The line is responsive to insulin, glucocorticoids, cholera enterotoxin, and epidermal growth factor (EGF).

By electron microscopy the cells display characteristics of luminal ductal cells but not of myoepithelial cells.

They also express breast specific antigens as detected by positive reaction with MFA-Breast and MC-5 monoclonal antibodies.

The calcium content of the medium exerts a strong effect on the morphology of the cells.

Technical information
ATCC Technical Services does not have technical information on patent deposits that are not produced or characterized by ATCC. Additional information can be found in the corresponding patent available from the patent holder or with the U.S. and/or international patent office.

Handling information

Unpacking and storage instructions
  1. Check all containers for leakage or breakage.
  2. Remove the frozen cells from the dry ice packaging and immediately place the cells at a temperature below ­-130°C, preferably in liquid nitrogen vapor, until ready for use.
Complete medium
Base medium: Combine 14.8g/L Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium and Ham's F12 base (Sigma, D-9785), 1.2g NaHCO3 (Sigma, S-5761), 0.365g L-glutamine (Sigma, G-3126), 0.059g L-leucine (Sigma, L-8912), 0.0912g L-lysine (Sigma, L-8662), 0.017g L-methionine (Sigma, M-5308), 0.0612g MgCl2.6H2O (Sigma, M-1028), 0.0488g MgSO4.7H2O (Sigma, M-3409), 0.006g CaCl2.2H2O (Sigma, C-8106), and 0.0086g Phenol Red (Sigma, P-3532). Fill to 1L with Ultrapure Cell Grade water (ATCC® 30-2205). Stir to dissolve. Adjust pH to 7.1 – 7.3. Filter-sterilize using a 0.22 µm filter. Complete growth medium: Combine base medium with 20 ng/mL epidermal growth factor (Sigma, E-9644), 100 ng/mL cholera toxin (Sigma, C-8052), 0.01 mg/mL human insulin (Sigma, I-2643), 500 ng/mL hydrocortisone (Sigma, H-0888), and 5% Chelex-treated horse serum.
95% Air, 5% CO2
Handling procedure
To insure the highest level of viability, thaw the vial and initiate the culture as soon as possible upon receipt. If upon arrival, continued storage of the frozen culture is necessary, it should be stored in liquid nitrogen vapor phase and not at -70°C.  Storage at -70°C will result in loss of viability.
  1. Thaw the vial by gentle agitation in a 37°C water bath. To reduce the possibility of contamination, keep the O-ring and cap out of the water.  Thawing should be rapid (approximately 2 minutes).
  2. Remove the vial from the water bath as soon as the contents are thawed, and decontaminate by dipping in or spraying with 70% ethanol. All of the operations from this point on should be carried out under strict aseptic conditions.
  3. Transfer the vial contents to a centrifuge tube containing  9.0 mL complete culture medium. and spin at approximately 125 x g for 5 to 7 minutes.
  4. Resuspend cell pellet with the recommended complete medium (see the specific batch information for the culture recommended dilution ratio). and dispense into a 25 cm2 or a 75 cm2 culture flask.  It is important to avoid excessive alkalinity of the medium during recovery of the cells.  It is suggested that, prior to the addition of the vial contents, the culture vessel containing the complete growth medium be placed into the incubator for at least 15 minutes to allow the medium to reach its normal pH (7.0 to 7.6).
  5. Incubate the culture at 37°C in a suitable incubator.  A 5% CO2 in air atmosphere is recommended if using the medium described on this product
Subculturing procedure
Volumes are given for a 75 cm2 flask. Increase or decrease the amount of dissociation medium needed proportionally for culture vessels of other sizes.
  1. Remove and discard culture medium.
  2. Briefly rinse the cell layer with 0.25% (w/v) Trypsin- 0.53 mM EDTA solution to remove all traces of serum that contains trypsin inhibitor.
  3. Add 2.0 to 3.0 mL of Trypsin-EDTA solution to flask and observe cells under an inverted microscope until cell layer is dispersed (usually within 5 to 15 minutes).
    Note: To avoid clumping do not agitate the cells by hitting or shaking the flask while waiting for the cells to detach. Cells that are difficult to detach may be placed at 37°C to facilitate dispersal.
  4. Add 6.0 to 8.0 mL of complete growth medium and aspirate cells by gently pipetting.
  5. To remove trypsin-EDTA solution, transfer cell suspension to centrifuge tube and spin at approximately 125 x g for 5 to 10 minutes. Discard supernatant and resuspend cells in fresh growth medium. Add appropriate aliquots of cell suspension to new culture vessels.
  6. Incubate cultures at 37°C.
Subcultivation Ratio: A subcultivation ratio of 1:2 to 1:4 is recommended
Medium Renewal: Every 2 to 3 days
Reagents for cryopreservation
Complete growth medium supplemented with 5% (v/v) DMSO (ATCC 4-X)

Quality control specifications

Mycoplasma contamination
Not detected
STR profiling
Amelogenin: X
CSF1PO: 10,12
D13S317: 8,9
D16S539: 11,12
D5S818: 10,13
D7S820: 10,11
TH01: 8,9.3
TPOX: 9,11
vWA: 15,17
D3S1358: 14,18
D21S11: 28,30
D18S51: 18,19
Penta_E: 13,14
Penta_D: 10,12
D8S1179: 14,16
FGA: 22,24
D19S433: 13,15
D2S1338: 21,26


Deposited as
Homo sapiens
Michigan Cancer Foundation
Patent depository
This material was deposited with the ATCC Patent Depository to fulfill U.S. or international patent requirements. This material may not have been produced or characterized by ATCC.  As an International Depository Authority (IDA) for patent deposits, ATCC is required to complete viability testing only at time of initial deposit of patent material. Patent deposits are made available on behalf of the Depositor when the pertinent U.S. or international patent is issued, but material may not be used to infringe the patent claims.
Patent number

Legal disclaimers

Intended use
This product is intended for laboratory research use only. It is not intended for any animal or human therapeutic use, any human or animal consumption, or any diagnostic use.

The product is provided 'AS IS' and the viability of ATCC® products is warranted for 30 days from the date of shipment, provided that the customer has stored and handled the product according to the information included on the product information sheet, website, and Certificate of Analysis. For living cultures, ATCC lists the media formulation and reagents that have been found to be effective for the product. While other unspecified media and reagents may also produce satisfactory results, a change in the ATCC and/or depositor-recommended protocols may affect the recovery, growth, and/or function of the product. If an alternative medium formulation or reagent is used, the ATCC warranty for viability is no longer valid.  Except as expressly set forth herein, no other warranties of any kind are provided, express or implied, including, but not limited to, any implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, manufacture according to cGMP standards, typicality, safety, accuracy, and/or noninfringement.


This product is intended for laboratory research use only. It is not intended for any animal or human therapeutic use, any human or animal consumption, or any diagnostic use. Any proposed commercial use is prohibited without a license from ATCC.

While ATCC uses reasonable efforts to include accurate and up-to-date information on this product sheet, ATCC makes no warranties or representations as to its accuracy. Citations from scientific literature and patents are provided for informational purposes only. ATCC does not warrant that such information has been confirmed to be accurate or complete and the customer bears the sole responsibility of confirming the accuracy and completeness of any such information.

This product is sent on the condition that the customer is responsible for and assumes all risk and responsibility in connection with the receipt, handling, storage, disposal, and use of the ATCC product including without limitation taking all appropriate safety and handling precautions to minimize health or environmental risk. As a condition of receiving the material, the customer agrees that any activity undertaken with the ATCC product and any progeny or modifications will be conducted in compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and guidelines. This product is provided 'AS IS' with no representations or warranties whatsoever except as expressly set forth herein and in no event shall ATCC, its parents, subsidiaries, directors, officers, agents, employees, assigns, successors, and affiliates be liable for indirect, special, incidental, or consequential damages of any kind in connection with or arising out of the customer's use of the product. While reasonable effort is made to ensure authenticity and reliability of materials on deposit, ATCC is not liable for damages arising from the misidentification or misrepresentation of such materials.

Please see the material transfer agreement (MTA) for further details regarding the use of this product. The MTA is available at

This material is cited in a US and/or international patent and may not be used to infringe the claims. Depending on the wishes of the Depositor, ATCC may be required to inform the Depositor of the party to which the material was furnished.

Frequently Asked Questions


Curated Citations

Soule H, McGrath CM. Immortal human mammary epithelial cell lines. US Patent 5,026,637 dated Jun 25 1991

Pauley RJ, et al. Immortal human mammary epithelial cell sublines. US Patent 5,206,165 dated Apr 27 1993

Soule HD, McGrath CM. A simplified method for passage and long-term growth of human mammary epithelial cells. In Vitro Cell. Dev. Biol. 22: 6-12, 1986. PubMed: 2418007

Soule HD, et al. Isolation and characterization of a spontaneously immortalized human breast epithelial cell line, MCF-10. Cancer Res. 50: 6075-6086, 1990. PubMed: 1975513

Tait L, et al. Ultrastructural and immunocytochemical characterization of an immortalized human breast epithelial cell line, MCF-10. Cancer Res. 50: 6087-6094, 1990. PubMed: 1697506

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