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PANC1 Cells: Unraveling Their Crucial Role in Pancreatic Cancer Research

PANC1 is a human epithelioid tumour cell line commonly used in cancer research. It is applied as an in vitro model to study pancreatic cancer biology, carcinogenesis, and underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms and evaluate potential anti-cancer therapies.

In this article, we will review some key information about PANC 1 pancreatic cancer cell line that can ease your working with it.

  1. General characteristics and origin of the PANC1 cell line
  2. PANC1 cell culture information
  3. Advantages & disadvantages of PANC1 cell line
  4. Research applications of PANC1 cells
  5. Publications featuring PANC1 Cells
  6. Resources for PANC1 Cell line: Protocols, Videos, and More

1.      General characteristics and origin of the PANC1 cell line

This article section will give primary knowledge about the PANC1 cell line. Such as, what does PANC-1 stand for? What are PANC-1 cells? What is the origin of panc1? What is the morphology of PANC 1? What is the size of PANC 1 cells?

  • PANC1 pancreatic cancer cell line was obtained from a 56-year-old Caucasian male with pancreatic duct carcinoma. This continuous tumor cell line was established by Michael Lieber and colleagues in 1975 [1].
  • PANC1 cells have poor differentiation capacities, but they can potentially metastasize.
  • These human pancreatic cancer cells exhibit epithelial cell-like morphology.
  • PANC 1 possesses a hypertriploid karyotype. The modal chromosome number reported for PANC 1 cell line is 63. The genome has a small ring chromosome and three distinct marker chromosomes.

BxPC3 and PANC1

PANC 1 and BxPC3 cell lines are immortalized pancreatic cancer cell lines. Both exhibit epithelial properties. However, PANC 1 cells show more mesenchymal cell-like characteristics [2].

PANC1 and PANC 10.05

The pancreatic adenocarcinoma cell lines PANC1 and PANC 10.05 are widely used in cancer research. They exhibit almost similar properties. The main difference between these two tumour cell lines is of origin.

Medically accurate representation of the growth and spread of a malignant tumor in the human pancreas.

2.      PANC1 Cell Culture Information

Here this section is all about PANC1 cell culture information. Knowing about the culturing conditions of a cell line can make you go easy with it. We will talk about the following: What is the doubling time of PANC-1? How do you culture PANC1 cells? Are PANC 1 cells adherent? What is PANC 1 cell media?

Key Points for Culturing PANC1 Cells

Doubling Time:

The pancreatic cell line PANC 1 exhibits moderate proliferation rates with a doubling time of 25.83 ± 2.03 hours.

Adherent or in Suspension:

PANC1 is an epithelial adherent cell line.

Seeding Density:

PANC1 cells are seeded at a density of 1 x 104 cells/cm2. For seeding, cells are washed with PBS (phosphate buffer saline) and incubated with dissociation solution, i.e., Accutase for 8 to 10 minutes at ambient temperature. Detached cells are resuspended in fresh media and centrifuged. The cell pellet is carefully resuspended in culture media, and cells are poured into new flasks for growth.

Growth Medium:

DMEM with 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS), 4.5 g/L glucose, 4 mM L-glutamine, 1.5 g/L NaHCO3 and 1.0 mM Sodium pyruvate is used to culture PANC1 cells. 

PANC 1 cell media should be replaced 2-3 times per week.

Growth Conditions:

PANC1 cells are cultured in a humidified incubator at 37°C temperature and with a 5% CO2 source.


PANC cells are stored in the vapour phase of liquid nitrogen or in an electric ultra freezer (at below -150°C temperature) to protect cell viability.

Freezing Process and Medium:

PANC1 cells are frozen in CM-1 or CM-ACF media. A slow freezing method that allows only a 1°C temperature drop per minute is used to freeze PANC1 cells.

Thawing Process:

Cells are thawed in a 37°C water bath until a small ice clump is left. Thawed cells are resuspended in media and centrifuge to remove freezing media contents. Cell pallet is carefully resuspended, and cells are dispensed at a density of 5 x 104 cells/cm2 into new flasks for culturing. PANC1 cells take almost 48 hours to adhere.

Biosafety Level:

Biosafety level 1 is recommended for PANC1 cell culture.


Developing spheroids formed from Panc1 cells.

3.      Advantages & Disadvantages of PANC1 Cells

Each cell line is associated with certain pros and cons that make it distinct from others. This section will elucidate the advantages and disadvantages associated with PANC 1 cell line.


The main advantages of the PANC1 cells are:

In vitro pancreatic cancer model

PANC1 represents human pancreatic duct adenocarcinoma characteristics. Therefore, it is used as an in vitro model to study pancreatic tumour development, growth, and related molecular mechanisms.

Genetic mutations

PANC1 cells possess many PANC1 mutations found in pancreatic tumours, thus making them valuable for studying disease-related pathways. These mutations mainly include PANC1 KRAS and PANC1 P53.



The disadvantages associated with PANC1 cells are:


PANC1 cells are prone to microbial contamination like other cell lines. Some bacterial contaminations are easily detectable, whereas some slowly spread and affect cell behaviour and gene expression, such as mycoplasma. Contamination can be avoided by maintaining standard aseptic culture conditions.


4.      Research applications of PANC1 cells

Human cancer cell line PANC 1 is frequently applied to pancreatic cancer research. Here we have mentioned some common areas of research.

  • Cancer biology: PANC1 cells are used to study pancreatic cancer development, growth, and many other cell processes, including proliferation, invasion, migration, and cell death. In addition, different cell signalling pathways, genetic mutations, and molecular mechanisms involved in pancreatic carcinogenesis are also studied. A study conducted in 2018 used PANC 1 cells and found that omeprazole suppresses pancreatic tumour cell invasion via aryl hydrocarbon receptor-mediated induction of JNK. JNK activation, in turn, modulates other cell genes and causes inhibition of pro-oncogenic factors [3]. Likewise, another study revealed that AKT and ERK signalling pathways are involved in human pancreatic cancer PANC1 cell proliferation, invasion, and migration [4].
  • Drug Screening: The PANC1 cell line serves as a valuable tool for screening potential anticancer drugs or therapies. Researchers usually explore drug resistance and study action mechanisms for potential drug candidates. Research conducted by Samira Alipour and colleagues in 2022 proposed that Portulaca Oleracea extract exerts apoptotic and cytotoxic effects on PANC 1 cells and thus can be a potential pancreatic cancer treatment. The plant exerts these antitumor effects by regulating CDK1 and P53 genes [5].

5.      Publications featuring PANC1 Cells

Some interesting and frequently cited research publications featuring PANC1 cells are mentioned in this section.

Green synthesis of gold nanoparticles from Scutellaria barbata and its anticancer activity in pancreatic cancer cell (PANC‐1)

This research was published in an international journal entitled “Artificial Cells, Nanomedicine, and Biotechnology” in 2019. The study proposed that gold nanoparticles green synthesized from the Scutellaria barbata plant exert antitumor effects against pancreatic cancer cell line PANC1.

Anticancer and therapeutic potential of Delonix regia extract and silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) against pancreatic (Panc-1) and breast (MCF-7) cancer cell

This publication in Toxicology and Environmental Health Sciences (2020) explored the anticancer potential of Delonix regia extract and silver nanoparticles on two human cancer cell lines, i.e., PANC1 and MCF7.

Synthesis of gold nanoparticles from leaf Panax notoginseng and its anticancer activity in pancreatic cancer PANC-1 cell lines

This article was published in the international journal of Artificial Cells, Nanomedicine, and Biotechnology in 2019. This study examined the therapeutic effects of gold nanoparticles synthesized from Panax notoginseng plant leaf extract against the PANC1 pancreatic cancer cell line.

Generation of KS-58 as the first K-Ras (G12D)-inhibitory peptide presenting anti-cancer activity in vivo

This study was published in Nature scientific reports (2020). Herein, the researchers generated a peptide KS-58 that selectively inhibits PANC 1 KRAS G12D mutation in vitro.

Isorhamnetin suppresses PANC-1 pancreatic cancer cell proliferation through S-phase arrest

This research was published in the Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy journal in 2018. The study proposed that Isorhamnetin, a flavonoid, inhibits the proliferation of PANC 1 cells via S phase arrest in the cell cycle.

Novel LIMK2 inhibitor blocks Panc-1 tumor growth in a mouse xenograft model

This study published in the journal Oncoscience (2014) proposed that a novel inhibitor LIMK2 suppresses tumor growth in PANC 1 xenograft mouse model.

6.      Resources for PANC1 Cell line: Protocols, Videos, and More

Some available resources on PANC 1 cells are listed below.

The following links contain cell culture protocol for PANC1 cells.

  • PANC 1 cells: This link contains the protocol for thawing and subculturing of the PANC1 cell line.
  • PANC 1 cell culture: This website can help you learn all the key information about PANC 1 cell culture including, PANC 1 cell media, cell thawing, cell freezing, and subculturing protocol.


  1. Lieber, M., et al., Establishment of a continuous tumor‐cell line (PANC‐1) from a human carcinoma of the exocrine pancreas. International journal of cancer, 1975. 15(5): p. 741-747.
  2. Kim, Y., et al., Comparative proteomic profiling of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma cell lines. Mol Cells, 2014. 37(12): p. 888-98.
  3. Jin, U.-H., et al., Inhibition of pancreatic cancer Panc1 cell migration by omeprazole is dependent on aryl hydrocarbon receptor activation of JNK. Biochemical and biophysical research communications, 2018. 501(3): p. 751-757.
  4. Yuetong, L., et al., Salidroside inhibits proliferation, migration and invasion of human pancreatic cancer PANC1 and SW1990 cells through the AKT and ERK signaling pathway. Die Pharmazie-An International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2020. 75(8): p. 385-388.
  5. Alipour, S., L. Pishkar, and V. Chaleshi, Cytotoxic effect of Portulaca Oleracea extract on the regulation of CDK1 and P53 gene expression in pancreatic cancer cell line. Nutrition and Cancer, 2022. 74(5): p. 1792-1801.