Kaposi's sarcoma-derived cell line SLK is not of endothelial origin, but is a contaminant from a known renal carcinoma cell line



Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) is an endothelial cell-derived tumor. Investigations of the molecular mechanisms of KS pathogenesis and the identification of drugs for treatment of KS depend critically on valid cell-culture models. Two major immortalized cell lines are available for KS research. Recently, the KS cell line KS Y-1 has been shown to be cross-contaminated with the T24 urinary bladder cancer cell line (ATCC HTB-4). Here, we show by short tandem repeat profiling that the second KS cell line, SLK, is indistinguishable from the clear-cell renal-cell carcinoma cell line Caki-1. Immunocytochemical detection of cytokeratin expression confirmed the epithelial-cell origin of SLK cells. Our findings indicate that SLK cells are not of endothelial origin and should not be used in future studies as a model for KS-derived endothelial tumor cells. We suggest that in the future, more attention needs to be paid to the authenticity of cells in lines derived from human tissues.