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M4A4 LM3-2 GFP


Product category
Human cells
Product type
Reporter-labeled cell
Cell type
3D cell culture
Assay development
High-throughput screening
Product format
Storage conditions
Vapor phase of liquid nitrogen
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Price: $708.00 EA
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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.

Cells contain Moloney murine leukemia virus (MoMuLV) DNA sequences

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


Specific applications
Ideal for metastatic studies


Growth properties
The M4A4 LM3-2 GFP was derived from a second generating lung metastasis after inoculation of M4A4 GFP cells in a nude mouse mammary gland.
31 years
The M4A4 LM3-2 GFP (CRL-2916™) was derived from a second generating lung metastasis after inoculation of M4A4 GFP cells in a nude mouse mammary gland. M4A4 LM3-4 CL 16 GFP (ATCC CRL-2917™) cell line was established from a third generation lung metastasis. The M4A4 GFP (ATCC CRL-2915™) was developed by the transduction of the GFP gene into M4A4 (CRL-2914™) cell line. The parental cell lines  ATCC CRL-2914™ (M4A4) and ATCC CRL-2918™ (NM2C5) were derived from the human breast cancer cell line, MDA.MB-435. M4A4 is highly metastatic in immuno-deprived mice, while NM2C5 is weakly or virtually non-metastatic. These well characterized, tumorigenic human isogenic cell lines have dramatically opposite metastatic phenotypes and are ideal for metastatic studies.
Note: Recent studies have generated questions about the origin of the parent cell line, MDA-MB-435. Gene expression analysis of the cells produced microarrays in which MDA-MB-435 clustered with cell lines of melanoma origin instead of breast. Additional studies have since corroborated a melanocyte origin of MDA-MB-435, to which ATCC has responded by pursuing its own investigation into the identity of this cell line. The cell line to which MDA-MB-435 is reported to have been cross-contaminated with is the M14 melanoma line.

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
The base medium for this cell line is ATCC-formulated Dulbecco's Modified Eagle's Medium, Catalog No. 30-2002. To make the complete growth medium, add the following components to the base medium: fetal bovine serum to a final concentration of 10%.
95% Air, 5% CO2
Handling procedure

Handling Procedure for Frozen Cells

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.

SAFETY PRECAUTION: ATCC highly recommends that protective gloves and clothing always be used and a full face mask always be worn when handling frozen vials.  It is important to note that some vials 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 vessel exploding or blowing off its cap with dangerous force creating flying debris.

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 10 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
Protocol: To avoid phenotypic drift it is recommended to make frozen aliquots of the cells and use each aliquot for only 10 passages.

Note: If more than 5-10% non-fluorescing cells reappear at any time it is recommended to use 600 micrograms/mL G418 for 2-4 weeks to kill off the revertants. Resistance to higher concentrations of G418 depends on the number of copies of the neo resistance gene that the cell has incorporated which is not uniform for the whole population.

Volumes used in this protocol are for 75 sq cm flasks; proportionally reduce or increase amount of dissociation medium for culture vessels of other sizes.
  1. Remove and discard culture medium.
  2. Briefly rinse the cell layer with Ca++/Mg++ free Dulbecco's phosphate-buffered saline (D-PBS) or 0.25% (w/v) Trypsin - 0.53 mM EDTA solution to remove all traces of serum which contains trypsin inhibitor.
  3. Add 1.0 to 2.0 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 37C to facilitate dispersal.
  4. Add 6.0 to 8.0 ml of complete growth medium and aspirate cells by gently pipetting.
  5. Transfer cell suspension to a centrifuge tube and spin at approximately 125 X g for 5 to 10 minutes. Discard supernatant.
  6. Resuspend the cell pellet in fresh growth medium. Add appropriate aliquots of the cell suspension to new culture vessels. An inoculum of 3 X 10(3) to 5 X 10(3) viable cells/sq. cm is recommended.
  7. Incubate cultures at 37C. We recommend that you maintain cultures at a cell concentration between 2 X 10(5) and 3 X 10(5) cells/sq. cm.
Subcultivation Ratio: A subcultivation ratio of 1:20 to 1:40 is recommended
Medium Renewal: 2 to 3 times a week

Quality control specifications

Mycoplasma contamination
Not detected
Population doubling time
Approximately 31 hrs
STR profiling
Amelogenin: X
CSF1PO: 11
D13S317: 12
D16S539: 13
D5S818: 11,12
D7S820: 8,10
TH01: 6,7
TPOX: 8,11
vWA: 16,18
D3S1358: 14
D21S11: 30
D18S51: 13,17
Penta_E: 10,12
Penta_D: 9,11
D8S1179: 13
FGA: 21
D19S433: 14
D2S1338: 19,24


D Tarin
Year of origin

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

Permits & Restrictions

Import Permit for the State of Hawaii

If shipping to the U.S. state of Hawaii, you must provide either an import permit or documentation stating that an import permit is not required. We cannot ship this item until we receive this documentation. Contact the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA), Plant Industry Division, Plant Quarantine Branch to determine if an import permit is required.


Frequently Asked Questions


Curated Citations

Ross DT, et al. Systematic variation in gene expression patterns in human cancer cell lines. Nature Genetics 24: 227-235, 2000. PubMed: 10700174

Ellison G, et al. Further evidence to support the melanocytic origin of MDA-MB-435. Mol. Pathol. 55: 294-299, 2002. PubMed: 12354931

Bao L, et al. Correlation of VLA-4 integrin expression with metastatic potential in various human tumour cell lines. Differentiation 52: 239-246, 1993. PubMed: 7683291

Urquidi V, et al. Contrasting expression of thrombospondin-1 and osteopontin correlates with absence or presence of metastatic phenotype in an isogenic model of spontaneous human breast cancer metastasis. Clin. Cancer Res. 8: 61-74, 2003. PubMed: 11801541

Goodison S, et al. Prolonged dormancy and site-specific growth potential of cancer cells spontaneously disseminated from nonmetastatic breast tumors as revealed by labeling with green fluorescent protein. Clin. Cancer Res. 9: 3808-3814, 2003. PubMed: 14506175

View All Curated Citations for this Product

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