Faculty Mentor

Dr. Matthew Stern


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Biology



Download Poster (79.2 MB)


While relatively rare, the aggressive nature and poor prognosis associated with esophageal carcinoma make it a particularly dangerous form of cancer. One approach to discovering esophageal cancer treatment options includes the development of composite 3D culture models. This method of research allows cellular interactions and responses toward interventions to be evaluated within a more complex system than 2D cultures. Additionally, a composite 3D model provides a higher throughput and is more cost-effective than in vivo animal studies. To analyze the interactions between the model’s cell types, fluorescent labeling allows each cell type to be distinguished from the others, facilitating independent study via lineage tracing. Our goal was to generate fluorescent esophageal cancer cells. Of primary interest was the Homo sapiens esophageal adenocarcinoma cell line OE19 that was transfected with a plasmid carrying the mCherry (red) fluorescence marker and neomycin resistance gene. We hypothesized that if geneticin antibiotic (G418) was introduced to transfected OE19 cultures, the percentage of mCherry expressing cells would be enhanced due to G418 selection against cells lacking the plasmid. To test our hypothesis, 400 mg/mL of G418 was used for multiple passages during routine cell maintenance. Fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) was then used to sort each cell based on mCherry expression. In addition, OE19 cultures under G418 selection were stained with Hoechst dye (cyan), to visualize nuclei as reference for mCherry appearance during analysis via fluorescent microscopy. The data obtained from FACS analysis indicated that 5-7% of OE19 sample cultures expressed the mCherry label. This was supported by fluorescent microscopy. Low cell viability following cell sorting did not allow for continued culture of sorted cells. Future directions include increasing the selection pressure on OE19 cells by raising the concentration of G418 and using modified FACS procedures to improve post-sorting viability.

Publication Date





South Carolina INBRE (NIH-NIGMS P20GM103499)

Generation of Fluorescent Esophageal Adenocarcinoma Cells for Lineage Tracing Within Composite 3D Culture Models

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Biology Commons



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