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NuLi-1 are hTERT-immortalized cells exhibiting epithelial morphology that were isolated from the normal lungs of a 36-year-old male. These cell lines may be useful models for studying ion physiology, therapeutic interventions for cystic fibrosis, and innate immunity.
Product category
Human cells
Product type
hTERT-immortalized cell
Homo sapiens, human
Cell type
epithelial cell
Lung; Bronchus; Epithelium
3D cell culture
Drug development
High-throughput screening
Quality control
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.

Cells contain Human papillomavirus (HPV) sequences

Cells contain SV40 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
These cell lines may be useful models for studying ion physiology, therapeutic interventions for cystic fibrosis and innate immunity. 


Growth properties
Human airway epithelial (HAE) cell line, NuLi-1, was derived from normal lung of a 36-year-old patient by dual retroviral infection with HPV-16E6/E7-LXSN [Pubmed: 1845902] and hTERT-LXSN [Pubmed: 9817205]. 
36 years
Immortalization method
HPV-16 E6/E7 and hTERT expression
This is a near-diploid human cell line of male origin with a polyploidy rate of 24%. There were copies of karyotypically normal X and Y-chromosomes present in most of the cells analyzed. Overall, some of the cells contained chromosomal abnormalities, with the most consistent being trisomy 5 and 20.
Genes expressed
delta F508 cystic fibrosis-causing mutation not expressed

The cells do not undergo growth arrest in cell culture due to exogenous expression of the telomerase and HPV-16 E6/E7 genes. 

Another hTERT-immortalized cell line, derived from HAE of a cystic fibrosis patient is available as ATCC® CRL-4013™ (CuFi-1).  Both cell lines, when seeded on semi-permeable filters and grown at the air-liquid interface, are capable of forming polarized differentiated epithelia that exhibit transepithelial resistance and maintain the ion channel physiology expected of each genotype. 

At this time, ATCC does not include functionality tests like those outlined in Zabner et al [Pubmed: 12676769].

Expression of the E-Cadherin protein has been determined to be present in  ≥ 70% of cells. The marker has been identified to be localized in the cell membrane and/or cytoplasm.

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
These cells are grown in a serum-free medium: Airway Epithelial Cell Basal Medium (ATCC PCS-300-030) and Bronchial Epithelial Cell Growth Kit (ATCC PCS-300-040) additives.
Atmosphere: air, 95%; CO2, 5%
95% Air, 5% CO2
Handling procedure
To ensure the highest level of viability, thaw the vial and initiate the culture as soon as possible upon receipt. If storage of the frozen culture is necessary upon arrival, store the vial in liquid nitrogen vapor phase and NOT at –70°C. Storage at –70°C will result in loss of viability.
  1. Prepare a 25 cm2 or a 75 cm2 culture flask containing the recommended complete culture medium. Prior to the addition of the vial contents, the vessel containing the growth medium should be placed in the incubator for at least 15 minutes to allow the medium to reach its normal pH (7.0 to 7.6) and to avoid excessive alkalinity of the medium during recovery of the cells.
  2. 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).
  3. 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 operations from this point on should be carried out under strict aseptic conditions.
  4. Transfer the vial contents to a centrifuge tube containing 9.0 mL of complete culture medium and centrifuge the cell suspension at approximately 125 x g for 5 to 7 minutes.
  5. Discard the supernatant and resuspend the cells in fresh growth medium (see the batch-specific information for the recommended dilution ratio). Add this suspension to the prepared culture vessel.
  6. Incubate the culture at 37°C in a suitable incubator.
  7. A 5% CO2/95% air atmosphere is recommended if using the medium described on this product sheet.
Subculturing procedure
Note: The culture flasks should be pre-coated with 60 µg/mL solution of Human Placental Collagen Type IV. (Sigma Cat. No. C-7521 or equivalent) at least 18 hours in advance then air-dried and rinsed 2-3 times with Dulbecco's Phosphate Buffered Saline. Volumes are given for a 75 cm2 flask; proportionally reduce or increase amount of dissociation medium for culture vessels of other sizes.
  1. Subculture when the culture is about 90% confluence. Expected cell yield is between 4 x 104 and 5 x 104 viable cells/cm2.
  2. Remove and discard culture medium.
  3. Add 2.0 to 3.0 mL of 0.25% (w/v) trypsin-0.53 mM EDTA solution to the flask and observe cells under an inverted microscope until the cell layer is dispersed (usually within 5 to 10 minutes). Note: To avoid clumping do not agitate the cells by hitting or shaking the flask while waiting for the cells to detach. Place at 37°C to facilitate dispersal.
  4. To stop trypsinization, add 2.0 to 3.0 mL of 1% FBS in Dulbecco's Phosphate Buffered Saline and aspirate cells by gently pipetting.
  5. Transfer cell suspension to a 15 mL centrifuge tube and spin at approximately 125 x g for 5 to 10 minutes.
  6. Discard supernatant and resuspend cells in fresh growth medium. Add appropriate aliquots of the cell suspension to new culture vessels. An inoculum of 1.5 to 2.0 x 104 viable cells/cm2 is recommended.
  7. Incubate cultures at 37°C.
Subcultivation Ratio: 1:3
Medium Renewal: Every 2-3 days (DO NOT EXCEED 3 DAYS)
Note: For more information on enzymatic dissociation and subculturing of cell lines consult Chapter 13 in Culture Of Animal Cells: A Manual of Basic Techniques by R. Ian Freshney, 5th edition, published by Wiley-Liss, N.Y., 2005.
Reagents for cryopreservation
Complete culture medium + 30% FBS + 10% DMSO.
Store in liquid nitrogen vapor. Avoid immersing vials into liquid nitrogen.

Quality control specifications

Mycoplasma contamination
Not detected
Population doubling capacity
≥ 15 in complete growth medium
STR profiling
Amelogenin: X,Y
CSF1PO: 11
D13S317: 10,12
D16S539: 8,13
D5S818: 11,13
D7S820: 12,13
TH01: 9.3
TPOX: 8,11
vWA: 14,18
D3S1358: 15,17
D21S11: 31
D18S51: 11,12
Penta_E: 5,13
Penta_D: 9,13
D8S1179: 12,13
FGA: 20,22
D19S433: 13,16
D2S1338: 19


Deposited as
Homo sapiens
AJ Klingelhutz
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

Material Transfer Agreement Addendum for Screening Applications

For-profit organizations
For every order of this item, you must provide a signed Material Transfer Agreement Addendum for Screening Applications. We cannot ship this item until we receive this addendum. The person signing the addendum as the principal investigator must match the end user as listed on the applicable sales order for the item.

Email the signed addendum to [email protected] with a reference to both your account and sales order numbers. Once received, your addendum will be reviewed, and this item will be released for shipment if all requirements are met. Additional fees may apply if this product is being used for a screening use (ATCC ACS-2103F), and these fees will be applied after your order is confirmed. If you need assistance with your order, please contact our Customer Care team or your applicable distributor.

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.



Curated Citations

Halbert CL, et al. The E7 gene of human papillomavirus type 16 is sufficient for immortalization of human epithelial cells. J. Virol. 65: 473-478, 1991. PubMed: 1845902

Bodnar AG, et al. Extension of life-span by introduction of telomerase into normal human cells. Science 279: 349-352, 1998. PubMed: 9454332

Zabner J, et al. Development of cystic fibrosis and noncystic fibrosis airway cell lines . Am. J. Physiol. Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 284: L844-L854, 2003. PubMed: 12676769

Kiyono T, et al. Both Rb/p161NK4a inactivation and telomerase activity are required to immortalize human epithelial cells. Nature 396: 84-88, 1998. PubMed: 9817205

Freshney RI. Culture of Animal Cells: A Manual of Basic Technique, 5th edition. New York: Wiley Liss; 2005. For more information on enzymatic dissociation and subculturing of cell lines see Chapter 13.

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